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Paul Merson explains what Arsenal need to do if they want a top-four finish

Arsenal icon Paul Merson believes the Gunners can finish in the top four of the Premier League – providing they can keep their strongest XI fit.

The North Londoners were in dire straits going into the international break, having lost their opening three league games without scoring once.

However, Arsenal have since turned a corner and won their last three league games, scoring five and conceding just once.

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The Gunners were especially impressive against Spurs at the weekend, carving their rivals open en route to a 3-0 half-time lead.

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Although Tottenham reduced the deficit through Son Heung-min in the second half, Arsenal saw the game out without problems.

Mikel Arteta was without several key players before the international break, not to mention Takehiro Tomiyasu hadn’t joined yet.

Since the 5-0 loss at Manchester City, Aaron Ramsdale has replaced Bernd Leno, while the back line has been completely revamped.

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“This is Arsenal though”

Merson is cautiously optimistic over his former club’s top-four hopes, though he’s not ready to “sit up” just yet.

“If Arsenal keep those players fit and they play every week, they would have a chance of getting in the top four and cause problems,” he wrote on Sky Sports.

“They have no Europe this season, so will have time to recover and work on the team.

“But this is Arsenal though and has been since they last won the league in 2004, since when they have never really looked like winning the league.

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“The game on Sunday was their bread and butter, but if they win away at Brighton on Saturday, then I will sit up.

“But if we talk next week and they have lost at the Amex, I would not be shocked. And that is the problem, they need to get a run of games together.

“This is a good XI, but if they get injuries, they are going to struggle as there is not much after that.

“But from what I’ve seen the last few weeks, fair play to them.”

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