Arsenal travel to the Etihad to take on Manchester City on Sunday in what is a huge clash in the race for a top four place.
Both are desperate to finish third in the table or above to ensure they don’t have to play a Champions League play off next season.
Merson is backing his former team to come out victorious in the game, but has insisted that will not be the case if they do not start striker Danny Welbeck.
“I like this kid, and I don’t think he gets a fair run,” he told Soccer Saturday.
“I fancy Arsenal to beat Manchester City, but he has to play. If he doesn’t play, it just plays into Mangala and Otamendi’s hands.”
It would certainly make little sense for Arsene Wenger not to start with Danny Welbeck in such a crucial game.
He has looked sharp since his return from his last injury, linking well with the likes of Mesut Ozil, and was the difference last weekend in the 1-0 win over Norwich City.
He is definitely a better choice than either Olivier Giroud or Theo Walcott, with the Frenchman in particular struggling as he endures the longest goal drought of his career.