Paul Merson states his prediction for Arsenal v Southampton

Paul Merson is expecting to see Arsenal return to winning ways with a 2-0 home win over Southampton on Saturday

Paul Merson
Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports / Screen grab)

Paul Merson is tipping Arsenal to come out on top in what is a “huge” game against Southampton at The Emirates on Saturday.

The Gunners have suffered a dip in form in recent weeks and they have lost three of their last four games in the Premier League, causing them to slip down into seventh place in the top-flight table.

Arsenal were pegged back and beaten 2-1 by Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park last week following recent defeats by Manchester United and Liverpool FC away from home.

Mikel Arteta will be desperate for his side to bounce back against the Saints in front of their home fans on Saturday as the Gunners look to get their top-four bid back on track.

Southampton have been struggling for form lately and they find themselves down in 16th place in the Premier League table. The Gunners have lost just one of their last 11 league games against Southampton.

The south coast club have never won in 22 away Premier League games at Arsenal – and former Gunners midfielder Merson is tipping that trend to continue on Saturday afternoon.

Writing in his column for Sportskeeda, Merson said: “This is a huge Premier League game for Arsenal. These are the games they have managed to win this season. You don’t really know what you’re going to get with Southampton. One minute they’re good, and the next, they’re not.

“I think [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang will start again this weekend, but he needs to work hard. His form has taken a dip. Arsenal have a lot of youngsters at the moment and as captain, he needs to set an example.

“When he works hard, Arsenal are very good, and that shows how the youngsters look up to him. He’s the catalyst for the team and the young kids in the squad respect him.

“Mikel Arteta will realise that this is a crucial game. If they win this fixture, it puts them in a nice position. They can kick on after this game and have a few nice fixtures coming up. I’m going to go with an Arsenal victory this weekend.”

After Saturday’s encounter, Arsenal will take on West Ham, Leeds United, Norwich City and Wolves in their remaining Premier League games in December. The Gunners will also face Sunderland at home in the League Cup on 21 December.

Gabriel Martinelli sustained a hamstring injury in the 71st minute of their 2-1 loss to Everton on Monday night.

Speaking at his media conference after the defeat, Arteta expressed his concerns about the Brazilian’s injury.

“I don’t know we will have to assess him,” Arteta said. “He felt something in his hamstring so I’m not very positive about it.”

Arsenal’s website confirmed Martinelli’s hamstring injury on Friday morning ahead of Saturday’s clash against Southampton.

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