Arsenal: Merson insists Tottenham derby clash is crucial to Gunner’s title-winning hopes

‘Arsenal have EVERYTHING to lose’: Paul Merson insists the north London derby is crucial to the Gunners’ hopes of winning the Premier League title – as he says they need to be ‘at their best’ to win to beat rivals Tottenham

  • Paul Merson has insisted the Premier League title race is at stake for Arsenal
  • Gunners travel to bitter rivals Tottenham for the derby in north London on Sunday
  • And former Arsenal midfielder Merson says Mikel Arteta’s side have everything to lose
  • He added that the visitors would have to be “at their best” to beat Antonio Conte’s men

Paul Merson said the result of the north London derby will have a significant impact on the Premier League title race.

Leaders Arsenal travel to bitter rivals Tottenham on Sunday afternoon knowing that a win will put them eight points clear of nearest pursuers Manchester City.

And former Gunners star Merson insists Mikel Arteta’s men have “everything to lose” in the game – but he backs them to win the title if they take four to six points from upcoming clashes with Spurs and Manchester United.

Paul Merson has said the North London Derby result will play a big part in the title race

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal side travel to Tottenham knowing that a win will put them eight points clear

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side travel to Tottenham knowing that a win will put them eight points clear

He said: “I think the next two games are huge for Arsenal. If they get four or six points in the next two games I believe in it, but if they lose today everything changes.

“It’s a big test… Arsenal have everything to lose. They’re up against the best center forward in the business (Harry Kane), they have to do their best.’

Fellow expert Jamie Redknapp added: “It’s been an incredible season with what Brighton, Brentford and Fulham are doing. At the moment it’s difficult to go away and get three points. It’s a massive afternoon for Tottenham.

“Everyone expected Chelsea and Liverpool to be in the top four, now that’s open. Today will be different. Arsenal have gone to another level and Tottenham still have a lot of questions. This is the kind of game that could turn things around this season.”

And former Gunners star Merson added that Eddie Nketiah (left) will improve with time

And former Gunners star Merson added that Eddie Nketiah (left) will improve with time

Striker Eddie Nketiah, 23, is ready to lead the line for Arteta’s side with Gabriel Jesus long absent through injury.

And while Merson admitted Arsenal need to sign more players in the January transfer window, he supported Nketiah as he improves with time.

He concluded: “With every week that goes by, he’ll get better. Playing in the Premier League is the only way to improve.

“When you play up front you are only as good as the people around you and if you give him chances he will score goals. He hasn’t let Arsenal down – but he has two big tests ahead of him.

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Maureen Mackey

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