Paul Merson explains his Arsenal v Bournemouth prediction
Paul Merson is backing Arsenal to keep their Premier League title bid on track with a win against Bournemouth
Paul Merson is backing Arsenal to keep their title push on track with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Gunners start the weekend five points clear at the top of the Premier League table after having beaten Everton 4-0 in midweek in what was their game in hand.
Manchester City can close the gap on the Gunners back down to two points if they beat Newcastle United at home on Saturday lunchtime in the earlier kick-off.
Arsenal, who are searching for their first Premier League title since 2004, are taking on a Bournemouth side who are second from bottom and who have won just five games all season.
The Gunners were 3-0 winners over Bournemouth in the reverse fixture at the Vitality Stadium back in August, with Martin Odegaard scoring twice and William Saliba also netting.
And former Arsenal midfielder Merson feels that the Gunners will simply have too much for the visitors this weekend at The Emirates.
Writing in his column for Sportskeeda, Merson said: “If Arsenal can win against Bournemouth, they are likely to be five points clear of Manchester City. From there, they will be favorites to win the title as there won’t be a lot of games left.
“Gabriel Jesus is back and Jorginho and Leandro Trossard are settling down well. All the players they’ve bought are pulling their weight. They’ve been success stories in their own way. I thought the Gunners were absolutely outstanding against Leicester City in the first half last weekend without scoring.
“Jesus’ return will be like bringing in a new signing. It gives Eddie Nketiah some much-needed rest and the Brazilian’s return will give everyone a great deal of confidence. The game against Bournemouth is a must-win for the Gunners as far as their title charge is concerned.”
Meanwhile, former Chelsea FC striker Chris Sutton is also backing Arsenal to claim a 3-0 victory to keep their title challenge on track on Saturday.
Writing in his own column for BBC Sport, Sutton said: “Arsenal have been brilliant since they lost to Manchester City, winning three out of three. They are relentless and, the way the Gunners are playing, you have to fancy them strongly to win this one too.
“Bournemouth always show plenty of fight and I don’t think this will be a walkover, but Arsenal are in form and look full of confidence.
“Mikel Arteta’s side will slip up again before the end of the season, there’s no doubt about that… but not on Saturday.”
Arsenal will take on Fulham and Crystal Palace in their next two Premier League games after Saturday’s clash.