Paul Merson makes blunt claim about Arsenal ahead of Bournemouth trip

Paul Merson assesses Arsenal's Premier League title hopes ahead of their trip to Bournemouth on Sunday

Paul Merson has warned Arsenal that they will be all but out of the title race if they fail to beat Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Gunners head into this weekend’s game looking to return to winning ways after the disappointment of their goalless draw with Southampton at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

Arsene Wenger’s men have struggled in front of goal in recent weeks and have now gone three games in the Premier League without finding the net.

And former Arsenal man Merson is concerned that the Gunners are in danger of dropping out of the title race completely following their recent slump in form.

Speaking on Sky Sports News HQ on Thursday morning, Merson said: “For me, Sunday’s game at Bournemouth is a cup final – they have to win, it’s as simple as that.

“It’s a good game for Arsenal because they’re not going to be kicked off the park, Bournemouth are a nice footballing team.

“Arsenal will play the same way as they have done ever since Arsene Wenger got there 20 years ago and they’ll get the ball down, pass and keep faith in the way they play.

“But, for me, this is a must-win game, a draw is just no good for Arsenal now. They’ve gone from title favourites to playing catch-up in no time.

“If they lose at Bournemouth, and Manchester United win at Chelsea, all of a sudden there are two points between those two, and things will start to get worrying.”

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Arsenal, who have won the FA Cup for the last two seasons running, are bidding to win their first Premier League title since their famous unbeaten triumph in the 2003-04 campaign.

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