Paul Merson makes prediction about Arsenal’s title hopes ahead of Man United trip

Paul Merson discusses Arsenal's Champions League defeat at the hands of Barcelona

Paul Merson believes that being knocked out of the Champions League could help Arsenal’s Premier League title bid.

The Gunners were beaten 2-0 by Barcelona in the first leg of their last-16 clash at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night to leave them with a significant uphill battle to secure a place in the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition.

Arsenal now turn their attentions back to the Premier League and their crunch clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

The north London side are currently third in the table heading into their game against the Red Devils this weekend.

And despite the disappointment of their loss to Barcelona in midweek, former Arsenal man Merson believes that the result could work in their favour as the Premier League title race hots up.

Merson wrote in his column for the Daily Star: “Losing to Barcelona could help Arsenal win the league.

“It helps them in the title race because they have got to forget about the Champions League. They are out.

“They’ve got to concentrate on winning the Premier League – and surely you don’t take a full team to Barcelona for the second leg now?

“I would play a stronger team in their FA Cup replay against Hull than I would against Barcelona. At least they’ve got a chance of winning that competition.”

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Arsenal have not won the title since the 2003-04 season.

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