Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson surprisingly believes that Newcastle United will hold Arsenal to a draw at St James’ Park on Sunday.
The former Gunners attacker has predicted that Rafa Benitez’s side will earn a 2-2 draw against the North London club, who booked their spot in the Europa League semi-finals in Moscow on Thursday night.
Newcastle fans have a strong belief that Merson shows bias against their side in his weekly predictions, so it is no doubt a shock to see him predict them to earn a point against the club he made his name at.
“Newcastle have been alright recently. They will give you chances but they will have a go while Arsenal will have had a long trip to Russia on Thursday,” Merson said on the Sky Sports website.
“Arsenal have not been great but they have won games recently, so credit where it is due. After a load of hard fixtures they have had easy fixtures and they have put those teams to bed at home. You can’t ask for much more. They have done well considering they were up against it.”
Football Insider verdict
Newcastle are in really good form at the moment, but Merson seems to have underplayed that a lot by saying that they have just been “alright”. The Magpies have lost just one of their last eight Premier League games and won all of their last three outings. How is that just “alright”? There is a clearly some kind of bias from the Sky Sports pundit who just refuses to admit how well Benitez has done on Tyneside this season. Arsenal’s Premier League season is basically over and they will now surely just focus on the Europa League. That could play into Newcastle’s hands on Sunday.
In other Newcastle United news, West Ham are eyeing a summer swoop for this £60,000-a-week Magpies player.