Paul Merson states his prediction for Southampton v Arsenal

Paul Merson is backing Arsenal to ease to a 3-1 win against Southampton at The Emirates on Saturday afternoon

Paul Merson
Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports)

Paul Merson is confident Arsenal will get their top-four challenge back on track with a comfortable win against Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Arsenal have lost three of their last four Premier League games to lose their grip on fourth place despite having games in hand over most of their top-four rivals heading into April.

The Gunners have suffered defeats by Liverpool FC, Crystal Palace and Brighton in the past few weeks to leave Mikel Arteta’s side in fifth position and three points behind Tottenham Hotspur, who have played one game more than their north London rivals.

Mikel Arteta’s side suffered a surprise 2-1 loss to Brighton at The Emirates last weekend to heap pressure on the Spanish head coach ahead of their final eight games in the 2021-22 Premier League season.

Southampton suffered a 6-0 defeat by Chelsea FC at St Mary’s last weekend to leave the south coast club 12 points above the relegation zone after a run of five games without a win in the English top flight.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson reckons Arsenal should ease past Southampton on Saturday afternoon despite their recent setbacks in the top-four race.

“Southampton are in poor form but they’ll need to go after a result,” Merson told Sportskeeda.

“No one thinks this game is a foregone conclusion.

“Southampton have come back for a nine-goal debacle before and cannot be taken lightly.

“Arsenal could fancy their chances of picking up a win here. Alexandre Lacazette hasn’t been able to score goals and I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t play this game.

“Southampton are not going to sit back and defend this week, and I think that could play into Arsenal’s hands.”

Arsenal were 3-0 winners against Southampton in the reverse fixture back in December thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel.

The Gunners have won three of their last six games against the Saints in all competitions.

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