Paul Merson has tipped Arsenal to earn a dominating win over Manchester United this weekend.
The Gunners have their work cut-out as they look to finish inside the top-four of the Premier League, and earn a spot in next season’s Champions League competition.
A loss this weekend at home to United would leave them all-but assured of failure in their bid to climb back inside those CL qualification spots, but Jose Mourinho has hinted at playing a weakened side on Sunday.
The Portuguese tactician has claimed to be prioritising the Europa League competition, where his side are three matches away from lifting the trophy, which would in-turn earn them a place in the elite European competition.
Paul Merson has now described Arsenal as ‘certainties’ for the win, despite usually being ever-critical of his former side.
He said: ‘Arsenal are certainties in my opinion, It’s all about timing at the end of the season and this game is perfect timing for the Gunners.
‘United could win their next four Premier League games 5-0 and still finish fifth in the league. On the other hand, they might only have to win two Europa League games to qualify for the Champions League. I don’t see anything but wholesale changes for Jose Mourinho for this game.
‘The wholesale changes put severe pressure on Arsene Wenger. They will be playing a second string side in my opinion and if they can’t beat an under-strength Manchester United, huge pressure will be put on the Frenchman. He would probably prefer to be playing United’s first team.
‘I’m backing Arsenal for a big 3-0 win and before Manchester United fans go ballistic I’m only backing that result because of my theory. If it was different I’d back the draw because Mourinho can get a draw at will.’
Is Merson’s backing a curse we could do without? Surely Mourinho won’t really play a weakened side?