Arsenal legend Paul Merson has claimed in his latest column for the Star that the Gunners are a ‘bit behind’ their north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
The north London outfits sit 8th and 9th in the Premier League after disappointing seasons, with Champions League qualification now out of the question for both sides.
The two face off in a north London derby that could have massive implications on whether either side can make a late push to secure Europa League football.
Merson added that he favours Spurs’ squad over a 38-game season – which is surprising as this same squad are a point behind their rivals right now.
Here’s Merson’s prediction for the big game and next season:
“Sunday’s derby is a close one to call. But I think Arsenal are a bit behind Tottenham.”
“Neither of them are going to finish in the top four this season but there’s more chance of Spurs doing that next season than Arsenal.”
“Over a 38-game season, with the squads they have, and if everyone stays fit, I’d be surprised if Arsenal finish above Tottenham.”
Both clubs are in transitional periods with Mikel Arteta and Jose Mourinho only having been in charge for just over six months each.
Whilst tomorrow’s massive clash won’t have the usual Champions League implications that fans have become accustomed to, grabbing the bragging rights still hold a lot of pride and could help build momentum for either side to take into the next campaign.
Spurs have actually been more successful on the Premier League and Champions League front over the last few years, whilst the Gunners have struggled in mediocrity for some time now.