“They don’t have much to play for” – Paul Merson Makes Bold Prediction For Arsenal Vs. Newcastle United

Arsenal Legend Paul Merson
Arsenal Legend Paul Merson

Arsenal legend Paul Merson has backed his old club to bounce back from their UEFA Champions League setback and bag a comfortable 3-1 victory in their Premier League meeting with Newcastle United.

Arsenal Received UEFA Champions League Reality Check At Porto

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal made the trip to Estadio do Dragao for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash with FC Porto on Wednesday night (February 21). The Gunners, who had scored 11 goals in their previous two Premier League outings, failed to lodge a single shot on target against Porto and succumbed to a 1-0 defeat.

Wenderson Galeno scored the decisive goal for the Primeira Liga outfit in injury time (90+4′).

Paul Merson Predicts Easy Win For Gunners, Says Bukayo Saka Could Have A ‘Field Day’

Arsenal will look to put that defeat in the rearview mirror when they host Newcastle United on Saturday night (February 24). A whopping 18 points separate the two teams in the Premier League, and Paul Merson is confident that the north Londoners will push it to 21 after Matchday 26.

In his column for Sportskeeda, the two-time English champion wrote:

Arsenal suffered a big blow last night. They last won a European trophy 30 years ago. It just shows you how hard European competitions really are – you need the experience. They had a lot of the ball away from home, but they didn’t really know what to do with it. I’m not sure why they changed the away-goals rule – you’re now going to get games like this because teams will go into a shell in their away matches.

I don’t think their European setback will affect Arsenal this weekend. Newcastle have been inconsistent recently but have managed to remain unbeaten in their last five matches. They’re scoring goals, but they’re conceding far too many goals as well. They cannot go to Arsenal this weekend and defend like that – they’ll get destroyed.”

Merson concluded by adding:

Newcastle’s defence is struggling at the moment, but they don’t have much to play for. I like watching them play because they open games up, but they don’t want to do that against Arsenal – it could get messy. Bukayo Saka could have a field day in this fixture, and I expect Arsenal to win this game comfortably.

Merson’s prediction: 3-1 Arsenal

Eddie Howe’s side, who are in eighth place in the league rankings, won 1-0 against third-placed Arsenal in the reverse fixture back in November. Throughout history, they have met 192 times, with Arsenal winning 84, Newcastle 69, and the two playing out 39 draws.

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