Former Arsenal player Paul Merson believes that they are still in the race for the top four but cannot afford to drop any more points along the way. Arsenal were the favorites to finish in the Champions League places before three consecutive losses against Crystal Palace, Brighton, and Southampton. The winless run sees them three points behind their arch-rivals Tottenham with a game in hand.
“The problem with Arsenal’s recent losing run is not the defeats. It’s the teams they’ve been beaten by that’s the issue,” former Arsenal player Paul Merson said. “Crystal Palace, Brighton, and Southampton – no disrespect to those three teams – but Arsenal should be beating them if they want that top-four finish. Palace was a hard game, the way it fell, and Brighton have had two great results, but they have played these teams at the right time. They played Brighton when they couldn’t win a game and also Southampton after a 6-0 thrashing.”
“One positive is the way they played against Southampton. They did alright,” he added. Fraser Forster just had one of those games for Southampton and for Arsenal, that wasn’t the case against Palace and Brighton. It wasn’t good enough from Arsenal. But against Southampton, they should have got something from the game.”
“Arsenal are still in the top-four race. This isn’t a big game for Chelsea in terms of the league. The third is all but wrapped up for Thomas Tuchel’s side. They are in the top four now,” he added. “If Arsenal goes out and shows something, they’ve got every chance at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea has had a hard week after their Champions League exploits and their FA Cup semi-final win. It might be a game where Tuchel rests a few players and Arsenal may just get a bit lucky.”