Arsenal great: We'll avoid psychological blow, Everton won't win

Paul Merson believes his former side will do enough to secure a draw at Goodison Park on Sunday.

"Everton are four points behind Arsenal with a game in hand and, in my opinion, if Arsenal avoid defeat in this game, then they will finish fourth and they can go and concentrate on the FA Cup," Paul Merson stated on Sky Sports recently.

The Everton versus Arsenal fixture is the stand-out match-up in this weekend's bill of Premier League action. If there is a home victory, the Toffees are then in charge of their own destiny and can secure Champions League football next semester by winning all their remaining games. Should Arsenal defeat Roberto Martinez's men like they did in the FA Cup, then the Gunners create a bigger gap between themselves and fifth place.

Since their loss to Chelsea, Everton have embarked on a five-game winning streak in the league. Merson says they are "flying" at the moment, therefore providing an arduous examination for the visiting Arsene Wenger and his team.

Arsenal's form, in contrast to Everton's, has not been top-four calibre as they have won three of their last ten, drawing four and losing three. However, Everton's record against Arsenal is dire - losing eight and drawing five from the last 13 meetings in the division. Everton's record home (1-6 Aug 2009) and record away and overall (0-7 May 2005) Barclays Premier League defeats have come at the hands of Arsenal.

"If they lose this game then by the time they play their next league match they could be fifth – and that would be psychologically damaging.

"I still think Arsenal will finish fourth because they have better fixtures than Everton, but this will be a hard game for them. They can’t afford to lose it and I think they will get a 1-1 draw – but Everton will know that this is their chance," the Englishman concluded.

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