Paul Merson predicts where Chelsea FC and Arsenal will finish
Paul Merson is tipping Arsenal to finish above Chelsea FC in the Premier League's top four this season
Paul Merson is tipping Arsenal to pip Chelsea FC to a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.
The north London side are aiming to try and break back into the Champions League qualification spots after they finished fifth in the Premier League and without a trophy under Unai Emery last term.
Chelsea FC, meanwhile, are aiming to maintain their place in the top four under Frank Lampard after they finished third under Maurizio Sarri last term.
Arsenal were very active in the summer transfer market and brought in David Luiz from Chelsea FC on deadline day. The Gunners also signed Kieran Tierney, William Saliba, Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid.
Chelsea FC – who lost 4-0 to Manchester United on Sunday – let Luiz and Eden Hazard leave, and only completed the pre-arranged signings of Christian Pulisic and Mateo Kovacic due to their transfer ban.
And former Arsenal star Merson seems to think that the Gunners may well pip their London rivals to a top-four finish this season.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Star before Sunday’s loss to United, Merson said: “David Luiz is not the answer to Arsenal’s defensive problems but he might be enough to get them back in the Champions League.
“I say that not because he makes my old club much stronger but because he makes Chelsea so much weaker.
“I think they are already right up against it after selling Eden Hazard to Real Madrid because they relied on him immensely last season.
“They’re back in the Champions League but they haven’t really been able to add players because of the transfer embargo.
“Hazard has gone, and now Luiz has gone as well, and that leaves Frank Lampard short of centre backs because Antonio Rudiger is injured.
“We don’t know if the young players they have there are ready yet, so I think Frank is up against right it away.
“And if Chelsea lose at Manchester United this weekend the pressure will already be on him and it might not end well.
“I think he’s going to find it hard. I hope he makes a success of it but with that squad, I’m not sure. You’re taking away one of the best players in the world in Hazard.
“Frank will be expected to finish in the top four – but I reckon Arsenal might just sneak that last place.
“Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham will be the top three. They are streets ahead of the rest. But I’m not sure about United and Chelsea. If Arsenal find some consistency, it’s theirs to take.”
Chelsea FC are next in action when they take on Liverpool FC in the Uefa Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday night.