‘They’ll rip them to shreds’ – Paul Merson backs Arsenal to win next week’s Tottenham derby
Former Arsenal player Paul Merson has backed the Gunners to sweep Tottenham aside in the upcoming North London derby at the Emirates Stadium.
Both teams go into the game on the back of defeats, but ex-Gunner Merson thinks his former side will comfortably dispose of their local rivals, who have not won since the opening day against Aston Villa.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Debate, panellists Merson and Jamie O’Hara had differing opinions on the outcome of Sunday’s match, with the ex-Spurs midfielder getting behind his old team.
O’Hara said: “I’ve got to go Tottenham. It’s going to be a tough one, and I’m not looking at it as Spurs going in as favourites, but I’m going to back them. If [Christian] Eriksen and [Jan] Vertonghen play, I think Tottenham win 2-1.”
However, Merson had an alternative view, which was met by laughter from O’Hara and host Laura Woods.
He suggested: “I think Arsenal will win quite comfortably, 4-1. I think they’ll rip them to shreds. I think Tottenham are struggling at the moment, I think if Arsenal get going [they’ll win].
“It covered over the cracks, the Manchester City game. They had 30 shots – give Arsenal 30 shots at the weekend.”
Recent Premier League history does not bode well for Spurs, with just one victory at the home of Arsenal in 26 years.
However, they have threatened to halt that run, with the Gunners coming from behind to win a 4-2 thriller last year, while Spurs were victorious in the Carabao Cup when they overcame their hoodoo with a 2-0 victory over the Gunners – their first at the Emirates since November 2010.
So given last year’s scorelines, the reception Merson received may have been a little unfair, and with Spurs’ league form of late, there is little surprise that neither pundit sees Mauricio Pochettino’s side going into the game as favourites.
Indeed, if Merson is to be proven wrong, Spurs would have to improve an awful run away from home, with Tottenham last victorious on the road in the league in January.
But with a win apiece from their three meetings last year, the outcome of next week’s crunch clash is by no means a foregone conclusion.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!