Paul Merson has given his predictions for the Premier League’s midweek fixtures and he tells Sky Sports that he can’t see Manchester United winning on Wednesday night when Arsenal visit Old Trafford.
The Gunners were impressive in their 4-2 win over rivals Tottenham on Sunday, and the former Arsenal player says “unless Manchester United really pick their game up” they have little chance, whilst predicting a 2-1 away win.
This will also show whether Arsenal have really kicked on from the latter Wenger years, as on Sunday they looked to be a side with more fight about them. Travelling to Old Trafford has been a struggle in the past for the London club though Unai Emery will hope this new chapter brings different fortunes.
“I hope Unai Emery plays the side that finished the game against Tottenham, playing two up front with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette because that will cause United all sorts of problems.”
If Arsenal play anything like they did against Spurs, United should be fearing the worst. We just don’t seem capable of muscling up a performance to beat an in-form side, and Emery will be doing his utmost to avoid breaking their unbeaten run of 19 games.
“We’ve got to remember this is a different Man Utd to the one we used to watch,” Merson continues. “It’s the same club but the players are nowhere near in the same calibre. That’s the problem and that’s something we have to keep reminding ourselves. This is not the United of old and if the somehow managed to get in the top four they’d be pulling up trees.”
As things stand, Arsenal have replaced Wenger with a good manager, so they’ve so far avoided a f*ck up to the same scale as United when the club replaced Sir Alex Ferguson with David Moyes.
They went out to appoint a manager of the right suitable profile, whereas United have appointed three conservative managers since Ferguson’s retirement. None of them have come close to bringing the Premier League title back to Old Trafford.
While that is not expected at The Emirates this season, Arsenal fans will be expecting to go a step closer next season and beyond until the league is theirs again.
I just hope United get in first and spoil their parade as well as others.