Paul Merson wants Arsenal to reignite their top-four bid

Former Arsenal striker Paul Merson is expecting a fierce battle for a top-four finish this season

Arsenal have the perfect opportunity reignite their aim to achieve an 18th consecutive top-four finish against Leicester tonight, according to Paul Merson.

The Gunners are currently sixth after Saturday’s north London derby defeat at Tottenham, but remain only three points behind third-placed Southampton.

Their opponents Leicester have not beaten Arsenal, home or away, since 1994 and arrive in the midst of managerial conjecture over Nigel Pearson’s future.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said: “After the north London derby defeat, Arsenal need to win and it’s a perfect game from them.

“The battle for fourth place is perhaps more fierce than in previous seasons.”

Despite two losses in 2015, Arsenal have put themselves in amongst the sides jostling for the top-four places, and will be hoping to continue their impressive home form.

Only Manchester United have won at the Emirates in the league this season, but the former Walsall manager is confident Leicester will not be the second team to leave with a win.

“Arsenal win these games, they just don’t always win the big games, and Alexis Sanchez returning is a boost for them,” said the 46-year-old.

“It’s hard to see anything other than a comfortable home win. Leicester’s defeat by Crystal Palace will have knocked them.”

Chilean Sanchez has been out with a hamstring problem and as the club’s top scorer, will be a welcome return to the Gunners’ side.

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