‘I’d be shocked’ if they lost: Paul Merson predicts Tottenham v Arsenal

Paul Merson believes Arsenal will beat Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby on Sunday

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

Paul Merson is tipping Arsenal to beat Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday evening.

Spurs exited the League Cup at the semi-final stage on Wednesday night after Chelsea FC secured a 3-0 aggregate win against their London rivals.

Tottenham have only managed to win three of their last six Premier League games to heap pressure on new manager Antonio Conte after the ex-Blues boss replaced Nuno Espirito Santo last year.

Arsenal battled to a goalless draw with Liverpool FC in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final on Thursday night despite Granit Xhaka’s first-half sending off.

Mikel Arteta’s side are competing with West Ham and Spurs for a top-four finish and Sunday’s derby clash could be crucial to their hopes of a return to the Champions League.

Arsenal won four of their last five Premier League games but the Gunners lost 2-1 to Manchester City at The Emirates last time out.

The Gunners have beaten Southampton, Norwich City, Leeds United and West Ham United in the Premier League to build some momentum in the top-four race.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson is confidently tipping the Gunners to beat their bitter rivals in the north London derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday evening.

“This is a massive game, I’ve played in enough of these to know that,” Merson told Sportskeeda. “I think the tide has changed a little bit this season, so I fancy Arsenal to win this one.

“They are a better team than Tottenham at the moment and Son Heung-Min’s absence is a huge problem for Antonio Conte.

“Spurs have a few games in hand and if they manage to win them, they could break into the top four and cause a bit of trouble for Arsenal.

“They had the upper hand in this fixture a couple of years ago, but going by what I’ve seen in recent weeks, I’d be shocked if Arsenal lost.”

Arsenal were 3-1 winners against Spurs in their meeting at The Emirates earlier this season thanks to goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka in the first half.

Spurs are unbeaten in three of their last five meetings against Arsenal and the Lilywhites have enjoyed the better of the head-to-head in the past decade.

Author’s Verdict

Arsenal continue to impress under Arteta and the momentum appears to be with the red half of north London heading into Sunday’s derby clash.

The Gunners proved their mettle with a goalless draw against Liverpool FC despite being down a man for almost 70 minutes.

Arsenal to nick a close-fought win at Tottenham is a conceivable outcome from this weekend’s north London derby.

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