Paul Merson has made his prediction for this weekend’s huge Premier League game between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
The Gunners travel to face their London rivals this weekend looking to add to their brilliant start to the new campaign.
Mikel Arteta’s side are two points clear at the top of the Premier League after winning ten of their opening 12 games.
Chelsea meanwhile started well under Graham Potter but they are winless in three league games. Last time out in the Premier League they were hammered 4-1 by Brighton & Hove Albion.
This leaves the Blues ten points adrift of Arsenal ahead of Sunday’s London derby.
Arsenal have already beaten Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur this season. And Merson thinks they will be in the title race “for a long time” if they avoid defeat against Chelsea.
“This is a massive game for both teams, for different reasons,” Merson wrote for Sportskeeda.
“If Arsenal win, they will go 13 points clear of Chelsea. Let’s be realistic now – Manchester United, Liverpool, and Chelsea aren’t talking about winning the Premier League title. The title race is over for them, and they’re looking for a top-four finish.
“If Arsenal win this game, they’d have to lose five football matches for Chelsea to catch them, and that’s if Chelsea don’t lose themselves.
“This is a big game for Arsenal, and they’ll need to avoid defeat. They need to make sure they’re not flat-track bullies. If Arsenal don’t lose this match, you’d expect them to be in the running for the Premier League title for a long time.
“I’m not sure who’s going to play for Chelsea this week. We all know what Arsenal team is going to play, and that’s why they’re at the top of the Premier League table. They’re playing the same team every week, and it’s working a treat – fair play to Arteta.
“Arsenal need a big squad and it does look like they’ll go deep into multiple competitions. They’re at the top of the Premier League table, and they’re doing well in the Europa League. Arsenal need to keep players like Kieran Tierney in their squad.”
Merson went onto predict that Arsenal will draw 1-1 against Chelsea. He also thinks Potter playing Raheem Sterling at wing-back is a major mistake.
“Raheem Sterling is not a wing-back. It’s a really hard position to play in, and you can’t just put anybody there. Graham Potter got it horribly wrong last week,” Merson continued.
“Great wing-backs don’t get the credit they deserve – they take one full side of the pitch and they’ve got to go up and down. Raheem Sterling is as much of a wing-back as I am a goalkeeper.
“Arsenal are flying in the Premier League at the moment, and they don’t need the World Cup rest. They’re on a roll and they were outstanding against Forest.
“I think this match will end in a draw, and that’ll be a good result for Arsenal.”
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