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Paul Merson: 'Arsenal can challenge for top four'

Merson: 'Arsenal can challenge for top four'
© Reuters
Paul Merson believes his former club Arsenal are capable of challenging for the top four in the Premier League this season.

Paul Merson believes his former club Arsenal are capable of challenging for the top four in the Premier League this season.

The Gunners claimed an impressive 3-1 victory at home against North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, their third successive victory in the top flight.

Merson is now optimistic about Arsenal's chances of success this campaign, though he believes the core group of first-team stars need to stay fit throughout this campaign.

"If that Arsenal XI stays fit, they can challenge for the top four. 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. They have no Europe this season, so will have time to recover and work on the team," Merson told Sky Sports News.

"Mikel Arteta had a lot of injuries at the start of the season and what I liked about him was he went to Burnley with a very attacking team, under pressure, and he took a chance, got the ball down when they had it and played. And he absolutely produced in that game and they were brilliant when everyone thought they would be bullied."

The Gunners – who have climbed up to 10th in the Premier League table and are ahead of Spurs on goal difference – face Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium this weekend, before they prepare for fixtures against Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Leicester City in their next three league games after the international break.

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3Manchester CityMan City96212041620
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham95221610617
5Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton943299015
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs9504913-415
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231615114
9Leicester CityLeicester94231515014
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves941499013
13Aston Villa93151315-210
15Crystal Palace91621114-39
17Leeds UnitedLeeds9144816-87
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle90451120-94
20Norwich CityNorwich9027223-212

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