There are some huge clashes within the Premier League this weekend as Man Metropolis welcome Chelsea to the Etihad, whereas Liverpool host Brentford and Man Utd journey to Aston Villa
Paul Merson has backed his former membership Arsenal to edge Sunday’s North London Derby towards bitter rivals Tottenham.
The Gunners sit one place and two factors forward of Spurs heading into the assembly, with each side given just some days to organize after Carabao Cup motion midweek.
Mikel Arteta is going through a mini midfield disaster after Granit Xhaka was despatched off within the 0-0 draw with Liverpool on Thursday, leaving the Arsenal boss with out many choices in the midst of the park – and the sport might but be known as off.
In the meantime Antonio Conte will wish to see an improved efficiency from his aspect after two defeats to Chelsea, which sandwiched a poor efficiency towards League One Morecambe within the FA Cup.
However with all to play for, Merson nonetheless feels Arsenal could have sufficient to earn all three factors and stretch the hole.
Which sides will choose up victories this weekend? Tell us your predictions in the comments below.
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“This can be a large recreation, I’ve performed in sufficient of those to know that,” the pundit advised Metro. “I feel the tide has modified a bit bit this season, so I fancy Arsenal to win this one.”
Merson cited the absence of Son Heung-min as one of many causes he’s assured going into the fixture, and predicted a 2-1 scoreline.
There may be additionally an enormous title conflict in retailer this weekend as Manchester Metropolis welcome Chelsea to the Etihad in what’s a must-win recreation for the Blues.
Metropolis are at present 10 factors clear on the high of the desk and have proven little indicators of slowing down.
“If Chelsea don’t win, they’re out of the Premier League title race,” Merson claimed. “Saying that in mid-January just isn’t a very good factor for them, but it surely’s the fact of the scenario.”
And he believes that would be the eventuality on Saturday, as he tipped Metropolis to win the tie 2-1.
Liverpool additionally want to gather three factors if they’re to maintain tempo with Pep Guardiola’s males, however face a probably difficult tie at residence to Brentford.
The Reds had been additionally in Carabao Cup motion on Thursday and struggled to interrupt down Arsenal with out key duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who’re each away on AFCON responsibility.
However the Bees have been in patchy kind and Merse reckons it could possibly be a “wake-up name” for Thomas Frank’s males after they head to Anfield, as he backed the hosts to expire 3-0 winners.
Manchester United face one other huge take a look at amidst their ongoing disaster and meet Aston Villa for the second time in per week after beating Steven Gerrard’s aspect 1-0 in Monday’s FA Cup Third Spherical assembly.
Merson would not fancy United’s possibilities on away soil although, and admitted he was “anxious” for the Pink Devils’ probabilities of a high 4 end.
Forecasting Saturday’s match-up, he tipped Villa to earn a 3-1 win and stated: “Manchester United are at present everywhere and I known as this a very long time in the past.
“I do know they’ve received a number of video games below Ralf Rangnick however their performances have been horrible, so I don’t see them beating Aston Villa within the Premier League this weekend.”
Paul Merson’s Premier League predictions
Aston Villa 3-1 Man Utd
Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal
West Ham 3-1 Leeds Utd
Liverpool 3-0 Brentford
Newcastle 1-1 Watford
Man Metropolis 2-1 Chelsea
Norwich 2-1 Everton
Wolves 2-1 Southampton
Brighton 2-2 Crystal Palace