Paul Merson says Manchester United on verge of heavy defeat, and predicts Arsenal clash

Former Arsenal star predicts the FA Cup match is likely to end up in a draw, but Manchester United need to be wary.

SkySports pundit Paul Merson believes Manchester United's unconvincing form will come back to bite them.

The ex-Gunner is not convinced his old team can win at Old Trafford on Monday night in the FA Cup quarter-final, but feels sooner of later the Red Devils will come badly unstuck.

Louis van Gaal's side won 2-1 at The Emirates in the Premier League earlier this season, but Merson feels they won't be able to record a win, and the match will go to a replay.

He said: "United are waiting to be on the end of something and I can see them losing two or three nil before the end of the season.

"However, they always seem to save something for Arsenal. I remember a couple of seasons ago when Arsenal headed to Old Trafford absolutely flying and United found a way to stop them.

"It’s an incredibly tough one to call and I’m going to have to sit on the fence and go for a draw.

If not Arsenal, when could this heavy defeat come?

United are fourth in the Premier League at present, and are entering a crucial phase of the season. While they did well to beat Newcastle in midweek away from home, the manner of the victory was fortuitous, and in their previous away game they lost 2-1 at Swansea.

The Red Devils face Liverpool at Anfield in a fortnight's time, and that is a game in which Merson's warning about a potential hammering could come true, considering the form Brendan Rodgers' team are at present.

There is reason to believe however that United will prove the pundit wrong, given they have a meaner defensive record this season than any of the previous two.

  SeasonGoals Conceded per gameAppearances
Man Utd 2012-2013 1.13 38
Man Utd 2013-2014 1.13 38
Man Utd 2014-2015 0.93 28

Considering the fact they have been able to concede fewer goals per game with an often patched up defence through injury, a lack of a real leader, and differing formations, is testament to the discipline Van Gaal has instilled.

A win over Arsenal on Monday will give United confidence, and potentially carry them towards strong performances for the rest of the season. A loss, and their only chance of a trophy disappearing with it, could have exactly the opposite impact. 

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