Mikel Arteta

Paul Merson previews key conflict

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Paul Merson has warned that Arsenal can’t afford to lose Sunday’s Premier League showdown with Manchester Metropolis at The Emirates.

The Gunners will host the defending champions in entrance of their residence followers this weekend as they bid to shut the hole on the Premier League leaders.

Arsenal at present sit a degree behind Pep Guardiola’s desk toppers after Metropolis suffered their first defeat of the season final weekend to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Mikel Arteta’s males have been comfy 4-0 winners at Bournemouth final Saturday however fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat by Lens within the Champions League in midweek.

Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka (Picture: Adidas)

Arsenal star man Bukayo Saka needed to be substituted as a result of a hamstring harm picked up through the European loss, whereas Gabriel Martinelli can be out as a result of a hamstring downside picked up towards Everton.

Manchester Metropolis, in the meantime, will probably be with out key man Rodri for the journey to The Emirates after the Spaniard picked up a three-game suspension following his purple card towards Nottingham Forest.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson feels that the Gunners should not lose Sunday’s recreation and he feels that the sport is more likely to finish all sq. in a 1-1 draw, admitting that he “can’t see” how the north Londoners can win the conflict.

“If I had predicted this recreation on Tuesday, I’d have undoubtedly backed Arsenal to win this recreation,” Merson advised Sportskeeda.

“Manchester Metropolis are with out Rodri they usually aren’t the identical crew. Arsenal will now must do with out Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, and I can’t see how Arsenal can win this recreation.”

Paul MersonPaul Merson

Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Picture: Sky Sports activities)

Merson additionally defined how he believes that Sunday’s conflict may find yourself shaping the Premier League title race over the subsequent few weeks, with Manchester Metropolis gunning for his or her fourth straight title.

“Arsenal acquired a gap within the title race final week, they usually’ll must benefit from it,” Merson added. “You’ve acquired to make hay whereas the solar shines with this Metropolis crew.

“If Man Metropolis are held to a draw right here, they’ll have picked up just one level of their final two video games. It additionally presents Liverpool and Tottenham an opportunity to struggle for the Premier League title.

“I don’t suppose Arsenal must win this recreation, however they want to ensure they don’t lose. In the event that they get beat right here, it’s déjà vu – they misplaced each their video games towards Manchester Metropolis final season. It’s going to be a really cagey match, and I believe it’ll finish in a draw.”

In the meantime, former Arsenal and Manchester Metropolis defender Gael Clichy believes that Manchester Metropolis are almost definitely to take all three factors at The Emirates on Sunday.

“Will probably be a tremendous recreation with a really excessive depth,” Clichy is quoted as saying by Metro. “Mikel Arteta is a duplicate of Pep Guardiola, you’ll be able to see he’s a mini-version of him in his techniques, on the touchline and in his press conferences.

Arsenal boss Mikel ArtetaArsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta (Picture: Mark Cosgrove / Information Photos / depositphotos.com)

“I do suppose Manchester Metropolis will win the sport, they’ve a lot high quality and nonetheless have Erling Haaland, who complicates tips on how to defend towards the entire crew when he’s so harmful. All Man Metropolis must do is get the ball within the air to Haaland and he can damage Arsenal.”

Sunday’s recreation is Arsenal’s closing conflict earlier than the worldwide break, with the Gunners set to renew their Premier League marketing campaign with a visit to Chelsea FC on Saturday 21 October.

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