Liverpool in last-chance saloon at Arsenal as pundit makes worrying claim for Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp, October 2022

Paul Merson believes Liverpool will finish below Arsenal and be out of the Premier League title race if they lose to the Gunners in Sunday’s clash.

Jurgen Klopp’s men head to north London hoping to claw their way back into a title race that is very quickly running away from them, with last weekend’s 3-3 home draw with Brighton their latest setback.

The Reds have only won two of their seven league games so far and are already 11 points behind the table-topping Gunners.

Arsenal, in comparison, have won seven of their eight games and are a point clear of Manchester City.

And Merson insists Sunday’s mouthwatering clash is huge for both sides.

He told Sky Sports: “I always thought the Liverpool game this weekend was going to be harder than the Tottenham game for Arsenal.

“It becomes even harder now because of the way Liverpool are at the moment. The way Arsenal are playing, the fans turn up with a lot of expectation this weekend to win that game.

“The early goal in the second half did it for Spurs on Saturday. But to be fair to Arsenal they were so dominant 10-vs-11.

“There was that 10-15 minutes in the first half where had Tottenham picked the right pass though, they could’ve been in trouble.

“Sometimes, with Arsenal, they’ve just got to steady it down, just calm it down for 10 minutes.

“They thought a little bit that because it was 1-1 they had to open up the game and score again. And it doesn’t always work like that. You need a bit of game management about you.”

Special Merson mention for Saliba

One player who was outstanding in Arsenal‘s derby win was centre-back William Saliba. And it’s clear that Merson is a fan.

He added: “Fair play to William Saliba, he got brought off at half-time for France against Denmark the other day. But to bounce back and play so well shows you the strength of the young lad – you’d think he’s old, but he’s not.

“If Arsenal go 14 points clear on Sunday, it takes Liverpool out of the equation for Arsenal.

“The main aim for Arsenal is to be in the top four. We’ve seen what Man City can do. But being in the top four and being competitive, they can’t lose that insight or get carried away.

“A win though and they’ll finish above Liverpool. If Liverpool got beat three more times all season, Arsenal would have to lose a third of their games to finish behind them.

“If Arsenal finish fourth, it’d still be amazing after being out of the top four for so long. But Liverpool have been so competitive with the points they’ve put up, it’s a massive game on Sunday.”

Liverpool did return to winning ways after recording a 2-0 Champions League victory over Rangers on Tuesday night.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have a Europa League clash with Bodo/Glimt before Sunday’s Premier League tussle.

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