Former Arsenal attacker Paul Merson has played down Newcastle United’s recent run of positive results.
After a disappointing start to the 2014-15 Premier League campaign, Alan Pardew’s side have turned around their fortunes and are currently seventh in the table.
Newcastle caused somewhat of a surprise last weekend when they defeated Chelsea 2-1 at St. James’ Park; it was the Blues’ first loss of the season and the hosts’ performance was commendable.
The Magpies will be determined to build on that win when they take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, but Merson predicts the visitors to lose.
“Arsenal did well to bounce back from last week’s bad result at Stoke with a great win at Galatasaray, and they need to continue that and win this game,” the 46-year-old wrote on Skysports.com.
“Newcastle are on a roll though but I don’t think this is a great Newcastle team – it’s phenomenal how they just keep on winning. Fair play to Alan Pardew’s side but it’s not a vintage team by any stretch of the imagination.
“I think Cisse has scored seven goals with nine shots and that says it all. I think Newcastle will have a go but I look back to last year’s Monday Night Football and they got beat badly against Arsenal.
“The Gunners will be buoyed after their midweek win but, more importantly, they have to win this game – there’s no point drawing. It will be a really good game, Newcastle will have a go as too will Arsenal, so lots of action.”
Arsenal are a better team than Newcastle on paper, but credit should be given to Pardew and his players for their recent results and performance.
Heading into this weekend’s round of matches, the two sides are level on 23 points, and that shows how good the Magpies have been in recent weeks.
Arsenal will be favourites to win against Newcastle at the Emirates, but the visitors could pull off an ‘upset’.