Paul Merson states his prediction for West Ham v Arsenal

Paul Merson is tipping Arsenal to beat West Ham to maintain their slender lead over Spurs in the top-four race on Sunday

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

Paul Merson is backing Arsenal to beat a distracted West Ham side on Sunday evening to maintain their slender advantage in fourth place.

The Gunners are looking to qualify for the Champions League for the first time under Mikel Arteta after the former Manchester City assistant manager replaced Unai Emery at the Emirates Stadium in December 2019.

Arsenal are in fourth place and two points above Tottenham in the Premier League table as the two north London clubs go head-to-head in the race to finish in the final Champions League qualification spot.

Arteta’s side bounced back from a losing run with an impressive 4-2 victory over Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge before an edgy 3-1 win against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium last weekend.

West Ham lost 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday night ahead of the return trip to Germany on Thursday.

The Hammers have only won one of their last five games in all competitions as the east London side hit a tricky run of form at a crucial point of the season.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson is backing Arsenal to secure a 2-0 win over West Ham.

“West Ham’s approach against Chelsea was mind-blowing,” Merson told Sportskeeda.

“They rested three of their best players – Michail Antonio, Declan Rice, and Jarrod Bowen – to prepare for their Europa League tie.

“If West Ham do win the Europa League, I think Declan Rice has no excuse but to stay at the club. If they don’t win it, however, he may well leave for a club that plays in the Champions League.

“This is the perfect time for Arsenal to play West Ham and beat them. This is a nothing game for West Ham, but it could prove to be a massive result for Arsenal.”

Arsenal were 2-0 winners against West Ham back in December thanks to goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe.

The Gunners have lost just once in 13 games at West Ham.

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