“You wouldn’t be shocked if Arsenal didn’t win” – Paul Merson makes emphatic claim ahead of Gunners’ trip to face West Ham


Paul Merson has given a grim verdict on Arsenal ahead of their tricky clash with West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday (February 11).

The Hammers have been a thorn in Mikel Arteta’s side this season, beating them on two occasions. David Moyes’ side knocked their London rivals out of the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 win at the Emirates in November. They also stunned the north Londoners with a 2-0 victory away in the league a month later.

Arsenal have put that defeat during a disastrous December behind them and kept themselves firmly in the Premier League title race. They sit third in the league, two points behind leaders Liverpool who they beat 3-1 last Sunday.

However, Merson is unsure whether Arteta‘s men will get anything from their battle at the London Stadium. The former Gunners midfielder told Sky Sports:

“I think it goes game by game. The game this weekend you wouldn’t be shocked if Arsenal didn’t win. They had a good bounce back from when they got beat by Fulham and West Ham.”

He added:

“But it doesn’t remind me of last year where I always thought they’d go to these places and destroy these teams and blow them away.”

The Gunners’ title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool are also in action against relegation strugglers. Pep Guardiola’s second-placed Cityzens face Everton today (February 10) while the Merseysiders collide with Burnley later on in the day.

Merson expects City and Jurgen Klopp’s Reds to win those games and put pressure on Arteta’s challengers:

“I think this is a difficult game this weekend. The pressure is going to be on them because I think Man City and Liverpool definitely win today. Arsenal are right up against it in a London derby where they’ve struggled, they’ve struggled against West Ham in their last three games.”

The north Londoners’ last victory over the Hammers came in December 2022. They sealed a 3-1 home victory as they mounted a credible title challenge.

However, a 3-3 draw against West Ham in the reverse fixture back in April last year was consequential. It was significant in Arsenal missing out on the title to City by five points.

Mikel Arteta explains Arsenal’s concerning record away at the London Stadium

Arsenal were held to a 3-3 draw away at West Ham last season.” width=”1920″>
Arsenal were held to a 3-3 draw away at West Ham last season.

Arteta has faced West Ham at the London Stadium four times during his reign in charge at Arsenal. He’s come out on the winning side once with a 2-1 victory in the 2021/22 campaign while losing that Carabao Cup fourth-round clash earlier this season.

The Spanish coach is aware of his side’s struggle away at the Hammers’ home turf. He said in his pre-match press conference (via the club’s official website):

“There are certain reasons. First of all, they are a really good side and difficult to beat at home. We are going to have to be at our best to give ourselves the best chance to win the game.”

The Gunners are in fine form at present, winning their last three league games. Moyes’ men are without a win in their last four league outings, losing 3-0 away at Manchester United last time out.

Edited by Matthew Guyett

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