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'I'd be shocked': Paul Merson has completely changed his top-four prediction after Tottenham beat Arsenal

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Arsenal suffered a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday, and Paul Merson has now changed his mind on who will finish fourth in the Premier League table.

The Gunners have been the favourites for the final Champions League spot for a while now. Even after they lost three games on the bounce against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton, their objectives remained achievable.

A win in the North London Derby would’ve sealed Champions League qualification for Arsenal, but Mikel Arteta’s men succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the home of their enemy.

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Arsenal are still ahead of Tottenham and their fate rests in their own hands. But, the gap is now down to just one point, and Merson, who boldly claimed in March that the Gunners will finish inside the top four, has now made a U-turn on his claim.

Paul Merson suggests Tottenham will finish above Arsenal

In his column on The Daily Star, Merson wrote: “I could not believe what I was watching (in the North London Derby). They have opened the door to the top four now and I’d be shocked if Tottenham don’t win their last two games.

“I can’t see Arsenal winning their last two games.

Newcastle in their last home game of the season is a difficult game because they will have a point to prove. Everton at the Emirates? You’d take that. Everton have picked up results lately. But Jordan Pickford has had to make a load of top-class saves.

“If Arsenal win their last two games then fair play, but for a young team like that to come back from a derby defeat like that and do it, that would be a big feat. I just don’t see how Arsenal handle the pressure. They didn’t handle it at Spurs.”

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The Premier League is the toughest competition in the world and there’s no easy game for any club. However, it has to be said that Tottenham’s final two fixtures are far more favourable compared to Arsenal’s.

Antonio Conte’s men face Burnley on Sunday, which could prove to be a tricky test considering that the Clarets are fighting for their lives. However, Spurs should back themselves to pick up all three points in front of their own fans. On the last day, they head to Carrow Road to take on Norwich City, who have already been relegated. That should be a comfortable win as well.

Arsenal, on the other hand, have to play a rejuvenated Newcastle United at St James’ Park. That’s followed by a tricky home game against Everton on the final day, which will not be easy, especially if the Toffees aren’t safe by then.

It does look like the top-four race will go down to the wire and it will be interesting to see who’ll come out on top – Arteta or Conte.

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images
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