Arsenal must come out fighting in must-win game, says Paul Merson

Former Arsenal playmaker Paul Merson says the Gunners are already facing a must-win game this early in the season

Paul Merson says Arsenal must come out fighting at Crystal Palace as the Gunners look to get their Premier League title bid back on track.

The FA Cup holders suffered a shock 2-0 defeat by West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on Sunday after goals from Cheikhou Kouyate and Mauro Zarate sealed a victory for the Hammers.

I’m going with Arsenal because it’s a must, must-win game, even this early in the season

Paul Merson

Arsenal, who beat Chelsea to lift the Community Shield earlier this month, have already lost ground on title rivals Manchester City and Manchester United.

And former Arsenal playmaker Merson warned Arsene Wenger’s side that they can’t afford a slip-up against the Eagles.

Merson told Sky Sports: “Arsenal have got to come out fighting. They can’t lose two on the trot, not the way the league is and how good the teams are now.

“Palace are a phenomenal football team on the break, as good as anyone with their pace, and I think it is a good time to play the Gunners.

“But I’m going with Arsenal because it’s a must, must-win game, even this early in the season. They need to score first at Selhurst Park, just to quieten the crowd. Arsenal’s class should see them through.”

Alan Pardew’s side made a winning start to their Premier League campaign after a 3-1 win at Norwich City.

MORE: Read the latest Arsenal player tweets

Arsenal boss Wenger has signed just one player in the summer transfer window after he managed to lure 33-year-old Petr Cech to north London in an £11m deal from Chelsea.

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