Former Gunner: Chelsea will knock Arsenal out of title race today

Stamford Bridge Inside

Paul Merson believes the home side will prevail in a highly-anticipated Premier League clash on Saturday lunch-time.

Arsenal and Chelsea introduce the Premier League football this weekend with an early kick-off at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, March 22 but former Gunner Paul Merson warns that supporters of his old team may not get the result they will be hoping for as he foresees a 3-1 victory for Jose Mourinho's Blues.

"If Arsenal lose this, they are out of the title race - so it's a huge game," commented Paul Merson on his Sky Sports column yesterday.

In the current Premier League table, Arsenal trail pacesetting Chelsea by one game and four points. Should they win their game in hand then they effectively just trail the SW6 team by a solitary point, however, they could get a head-start in reducing the gap at the top of the division with a mighty victory in West London.

Obtaining that result will pose a significant challenge for Wenger, who takes charge of his 1,000th competitive game as Arsenal manager (572 wins, 235 draws and 192 losses), as a: he has never actually beaten Jose Mourinho (five draws and five defeats) and b: Mourinho has never lost at the Bridge.

"Arsenal have got to go to the Bridge and make sure they don't lose because then they're still in it [the title race]. There's no question about that. If they go to the Bridge and do even better and win, then they're massive title contenders.

"Chelsea can't afford to have the mind-set that they'd take a draw. They have to win every game to keep the others at bay but Arsenal can't keep falling over the line because when you play against top teams like Chelsea, as Tottenham found out not long ago, they'll rip you apart.

"If Arsenal don't pick their game up, I can see Chelsea winning this game by two goals."

Merson closed his preview by offering his prediction: "3-1."

If he's correct, then following his statement, Chelsea will have knocked Arsenal out of the Premier League title race and opened up an even bigger advantage at the head of the division.

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