Paul Merson describes fixture as a 'cup-final' for Southampton, predicts Arsenal result

Southampton Football Club

Pundit predicts Southampton to lose at home to Arsenal.

Paul Merson has told SkySports he is confident Arsenal will see off Southampton on Boxing Day despite an extra effort from the home side.

The pundit explained that he felt Ronald Koeman will have motivated his team to push hard to get a result, but Arsenal are simply too good.

He predicted a 3-1 victory for the in form Gunners, who could be playing to claim a spot at the top of the Premier League if Leicester City slip up away to Liverpool earlier in the day.

He said: "I don't see Southampton getting worse, Ronald Koeman will go to work on the training ground and they will get better. This will be like a cup final for the Saints, they will be desperate to beat Arsenal, and you can bet your bottom dollar they won't play like they have over the last few weeks.

"But for Arsenal, these are the games that win you the league titles and without a doubt Mesut Ozil is in the form of his Arsenal career right now. He's always been top drawer, but now the others are starting to get on his wavelength and I'm backing them to win again here."

Southampton lost last week at home to Tottenham Hotspur, and will be keen to avoid another home loss in front of their fans.

Last season's excellent run and superb defensive record is quickly becoming a distant memory, and the side have slipped with 12th place with just five wins from 17 games this season.

Three of Southampton's five victories have come at home, drawing two and losing four at St Mary's but they have not won any of their last three at the stadium.

Arsenal meanwhile have won six of nine away games, accruing 19 points alone on their travels, losing only twice.

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