Arsenal legend Paul Merson touts Chelsea FC’s unpredictability as an edge over Arsenal
Arsenal legend Paul Merson believes Chelsea FC’s unpredictability gives them an edge over the Gunners ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
The two London rivals face off on Sunday in a pivotal encounter for both clubs. League leaders Arsenal are aiming to preserve their unbeaten record, while Chelsea are looking to build momentum under new boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Many expect Arsenal to get the better of their inconsistent opponents, having not lost to Chelsea at home since 2018. But then there is a first time for everything and the Blues are slowly yet steadily putting together a winning run.
But speaking to Sky Sports (h/t Metro), Merson warned his former club that Chelsea’s tendency to perform better against stronger opposition could work in their favour. Arsenal are unlikely to sit back and defend deep, leaving space open for us to exploit on the counter.
‘They have not done it against the ‘lesser’ teams. I have said all along that I think Chelsea will be a better team away from home this season.
But against the better teams, like Liverpool who had a right go, those are the games Chelsea have played well in this season.’
He added that Chelsea’s pace makes them dangerous against teams like Arsenal who attack them. Merson pinpointed Chelsea’s improved showings against top sides as the advantage they hold over the Gunners. The Arsenal great believes the Blues’ unpredictability and rotation also give them an edge.
‘One advantage Chelsea will have is that we virtually know what the Arsenal team is going to be. On the other hand, we have no idea what the Chelsea team will be.’
He feels a statement win for initially stuttering Chelsea could kickstart their season and make them title contenders again. But Merson added victory would also reinforce Arsenal’s credentials as they aim to end their league drought.
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While identifying the threat Chelsea pose, Merson understands Sunday’s showdown is a chance for Arsenal to send a message in the Premier League race. But then that will not happen if Chelsea turn up and have their say.