By Amir Mir
Paul Merson has predicted Arsenal will have to wait for their first win of the 2016-17 season, as he identified the Gunners defensive frailties, ahead of their visit to Leicester on Saturday.
In his latest Sky Sports column Merson has predicted his former club to concede more goals at the weekend and draw 2-2 with the Premier League champions.
Arsenal lost their opening Premier League fixture 4-3 to Liverpool at home last weekend, with many senior defenders missing, while the Foxes were beaten 2-1 away to newly-promoted Hull.
The Soccer Saturday pundit believes it is a must win game for Arsene Wenger’s side, as specifies the dangers of dropping points early on in the season.
“Arsenal have to win this match,” Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column. “People will say there are still 36 games left after this, but you can’t afford to fall six points behind. Come the end of the season, playing catch-up takes its toll.
“It’s a similar story for Leicester because you don’t want to start off as champions and lose your first two games. No one had ever lost their first game as champions, and if you then lose your next, all of a sudden your momentum has gone.”
In the reverse fixtures last season the Foxes were beaten 5-2 at home, and lost 2-1 at the Emirates as Wenger’s side were the only team to beat the Champions on two occasions.
However, Merson has pin-pointed the reason why both teams will concede goals at the weekend, as he opts for a score draw.
“This is a big football match and I think there will be goals,” said Merson. “Last season, Wes Morgan and Robert Huth blocked every shot they jumped in front of, and I don’t think that will happen again.
“Arsenal can’t defend, we know that, so I’m going for a score draw.”
Wenger is in the final year of his contract, as the Frenchman looks set to celebrate 20 years at the club in October, but the 66-year-old has not won the League title in 12 years.
In other Arsenal team news, Arsene Wenger has confirmed the club are close to solving their striker problem, as this player nears a return.