Paul Merson states his prediction for Southampton v Arsenal

Paul Merson expects Mesut Ozil to inspire title favourites Arsenal to another comfortable victory

Paul Merson is backing Mesut Ozil to inspire Arsenal to victory over Southampton at St Mary’s on Boxing Day.

The Gunners are favourites to win the Premier League title after goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud sealed a 2-1 victory over rivals Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on Monday night.

Southampton, on the other hand, have lost four of their last six Premier League games, including a 2-0 defeat by Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on the south coast last weekend.

Former Arsenal playmaker Merson believes an in-form Ozil will be pivotal for Arsene Wenger’s side as the Gunners heap more misery on Saints manager Ronald Koeman.

“I don’t see Southampton getting worse, Ronald Koeman will go to work on the training ground and they will get better,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“This will be like a cup final for the Saints, they will be desperate to beat Arsenal, and you can bet your bottom dollar they won’t play like they have over the last few weeks.

“But for Arsenal, these are the games that win you the league titles and without a doubt Mesut Ozil is in the form of his Arsenal career right now.

“He’s always been top drawer, but now the others are starting to get on his wavelength and I’m backing them to win again here.”

Arsenal are two points behind surprise Premier League leaders Leicester City ahead of their trip to St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.

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Ozil, 27, has scored two goals and has made eight assists in his last 10 appearances for the north London side in all competitions.

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