Paul Merson states prediction for Arsenal v Crystal Palace

The ex-Arsenal midfielder is worried that Crystal Palace could give the Gunners an uncomfortable New Year's Day

Paul Merson is worried that Crystal Palace could cause Arsenal some problems at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day.

The Gunners returned to winning ways on Boxing Day thanks to an unconvincing 1-0 win against West Bromwich Albion after Olivier Giroud’s 86th-minute winner at The Emirates.

Crystal Palace appointed Sam Allardyce as their new manager after Alan Pardew received his marching orders following a 1-0 loss to all-conquering Premier League leaders.

Arsenal are in fourth place in the Premier League table and nine points behind Chelsea heading into the weekend ahead of the west London side’s clash against Stoke City on New Year’s Eve.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson is backing the north London outfit to get over the line against Palace at the Emirates Stadium despite admitting his concerns about the Eagles under Allardyce.

“Sam is someone who will win, lose draw, win, lose, draw, and before you know it, they’ll be out of trouble. For me, this is his biggest job in club football so far. It’s a great job, especially with the calibre of players he has at his disposal. He can’t believe his luck,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“Arsenal have to win. Look at the table. They lose two games on the trot and they’re fighting for fourth, and they were 1-0 up in the first one they lost, about to go top of the league. Draws are just no good anymore, because these teams are ruthless and will run away with it.”

Arsenal finished in second place in the Premier League table last season but the Gunners were a disappointing 10 points adrift of champions Leicester City.

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