Paul Merson predicts the outcome of Stoke v Arsenal
Paul Merson warns the Gunners that they face a massive test at The Britannia on Sunday afternoon
Paul Merson has warned Arsenal that they face a massive test against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners squandered a second-half lead at Anfield on Wednesday night after Liverpool substitute Joe Allen scored a 90th-minute equaliser to rescue a 3-3 draw for the Reds.
I always say it but Mark Hughes’ side are always good at home and I can see them getting a 1-1 draw
Arsenal are top of the Premier League table but level on points with second-placed Leicester City ahead of their game against Mark Hughes’s ever-improving Stoke side.
Former Arsenal playmaker Merson warned Wenger’s players that The Britannia clash will be a tricky assignment for the leaders, particularly given their record at Stoke.
“This is a massive test for Arsenal. The Britannia is a tough place to go at the best of times but for Arsenal it’s not a happy hunting ground,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“I looked at Arsenal’s three games against Liverpool, Stoke and Chelsea and thought if Arsene Wenger can pick up seven points it would be a good return.
“But after Wednesday’s result, everything is so tight again at the top and the last thing Arsenal need is for City to get ahead of them. With a trip to Stoke and the visit of Chelsea coming up that is a real possibility now.
“I was disappointed with them the other night. They got it all wrong and I think they will be held again by a good Stoke team. I always say it but Mark Hughes’ side are always good at home and I can see them getting a 1-1 draw.
“He’s been in excellent form in recent weeks so Marko Arnautovic is getting my vote to open the scoring.”
Arsenal are winless in their last five games against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium since February 2010.
The Gunners have lost three and drawn two of their last five Premier League games at Stoke.
However, Wenger’s side, who are the FA Cup holders, have won two of their last three games against the Potters.