‘At all costs’: Paul Merson predicts Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Paul Merson looks ahead to Arsenal's home clash against Crystal Palace on Monday night

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media)

Paul Merson is tipping Arsenal to claim a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at The Emirates on Monday night.

Arsenal are in 11th place in the Premier League table and are unbeaten in their last four games in the top flight after a disastrous start to the campaign in which they lost their three opening fixtures.

The north London side were held to a goalless draw by Brighton and Hove Albion away from home and had notched up victories against Burnley, Norwich and Tottenham Hotspur before that.

Patrick Vieira’s Palace side are 14th and are three points behind the Gunners heading into this weekend’s round of games.

The Eagles played out a 2-2 draw with Leicester City last time out and took points off Tottenham and Brighton in September.

History is not in Arsenal’s favour heading into this game, with the Gunners having won just one of their last six Premier League meetings with their London neighbours.

Nevertheless, former Arsenal midfielder Merson is tipping his old side to come out on top when they welcome the visitors to The Emirates on Monday night.

Writing in his column for Sportskeeda, Merson said: “I’ve been really impressed with Crystal Palace and the way Patrick Vieira has got them playing in the Premier League this season.

“If I was a Palace fan, I’d definitely be really excited! They were 2-0 down against Leicester City, but they dug in, made a few good substitutions and got right back into the game.

“In terms of putting away their chances, though, they haven’t done so efficiently and will have to do so to get a result against Arsenal. Vieira is set to get an unbelievable reception at the Emirates Stadium, it’s going to be a really good occasion.

“It’s a hard game, but I still fancy Arsenal to edge this one out. I’ve always said that if Arsenal keep their main XI fit, they’ll have a chance of finishing in the top four.

“If they win their next two games, they are suddenly at the top end of the Premier League standings, so this is a game they should look to win at all costs.”

Speaking at his news conference before Monday’s game, Arteta said that the Gunners had no fresh injury concerns heading into the clash.

Granit Xhaka remains sidelined with a knee injury suffered during the 3-1 victory over Tottenham in the north London derby.

“At the moment everyone seems to be OK,” said Arteta. “Granit is progressing really well but obviously we know it is a long-term injury unfortunately and he’s not going to be available.”

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