- Tottenham will hope to secure all three points against Arsenal in derby
- Pochettino’s men can’t afford to slip up in pursuit of Man City at the top of the table
- Merson believes that a draw would end their title hopes
- READ MORE: Arsenal legend explains the crucial factor that could see Gunners edge Tottenham this weekend
Arsenal host Tottenham at the Emirates in a highly-anticipated north London derby on Saturday, and Paul Merson believes that there is a lot at stake for the visitors.
While Arsenal seem destined for another scrap for a top-four finish as they currently sit in sixth place and are three points adrift of Chelsea in fourth, Tottenham will have more realistic and higher aspirations as they look to catch Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side do have an eight-point lead over them after 11 games, and so Mauricio Pochettino will know that Tottenham have their work cut out for them if they are to launch a genuine title challenge this season, particularly considering City’s form to start the year.
The leaders have won 10 of their 11 games so far, and have scored 38 goals while conceding just seven as they have certainly established themselves as the early favourites.
Even though it’s still early in the campaign, Merson believes that if Arsenal are able to peg their bitter rivals back this weekend, they could end their Premier League title hopes already.
“If they (Arsenal) draw this game it probably stops Tottenham winning the Premier League,” he told Sky Sports, as reported by The Express. “I think so, I expect Man City to beat Leicester, that would be 10 points, that’s a lot.
“Ten points is a lot when you’re chasing a team like Man City down.”
It’s hard to disagree with him as not only would it require City slipping up a couple of times, but Tottenham would have to be perfect from now until the end of the season.
However, it’s surely still too early to make such predictions as City will be expected to have a sticky patch at some point in the season over 38 games, as it will take something very special for them to maintain their current pace.