Arsenal

Arsenal

Premier League • England

‘Never going to happen’ – Merson makes decisive claim on Arsenal, Tottenham, Man Utd battle for fourth

Paul Merson

Paul Merson has named who he believes will snatch fourth spot after rubbishing a narrative surrounding Arsenal and Tottenham that emerged a few weeks prior.

The race for fourth spot now appears to have shed two participants. Wolves are now eight points adrift of Tottenham in fourth. West Ham, meanwhile, are five points behind, though have played at least one game more than those above them.

The Hammers’ focus may now shift to winning the Europa League too. As such, it appears one of Man Utd, Tottenham or Arsenal will ultimately secure the riches that comes with finishing fourth and qualifying for the Champions League.

Spurs and Arsenal both lost at the weekend, thus opening the door for Man Utd to pounce. Inspired by a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, the Red Devils squeezed past Norwich 3-2.

Yet just a few short weeks ago it had appeared like fourth spot was Arsenal’s to lose.

The Gunners had matches in hand and were in possession of fourth, though a loss of form at the worst possible time has seen them slide down to sixth.

Indeed, Mikel Arteta’s men have lost three on the spin to mid-table teams. Even worse news for Arsenal comes in the form of their upcoming fixtures – Chelsea, Man Utd and West Ham.

Speaking to Sky Sports, pundit Paul Merson gave his prediction on who will secure fourth spot. In doing so, he insisted those that thought Arsenal or even Tottenham would embark on a winning streak to conclude the season were always in for a shock.

Merson picks top four winner

“We sat here two or three weeks ago when Arsenal were (starting to struggle),” said Merson (via Football London).

“Arsenal and Tottenham weren’t going to win their last eight games each. They weren’t and they aren’t good enough to win their last eight games each.

“Liverpool and Man City are. That’s why that Sunday (Premier League) game was big.

“Whoever won that Man City-Liverpool game, you could see them reeling off the next seven wins. You were never going to see that with Arsenal or Tottenham.

“They (Brighton) had a play. Sat back and counter-attacked – there is still a long way to go.

“I still think Tottenham are favourites to get into the top four.”

Tottenham’s remaining fixtures are the kindest on paper, meaning the rescheduled north London derby could be where the race for fourth is won and lost on May 12.