A claim on the part of former Arsenal midfielder and current Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson regarding Tottenham has been doing the rounds online this afternoon, ahead of this weekend’s clash between Mauricio Pochettino’s men and Chelsea.
The two sides are set to go head to head in a Premier League London derby on Sunday evening, with potentially-crucial ramifications in the race for a spot in next season’s Champions League.
As things stand, Spurs currently occupy the final Champions League place, with Chelsea sitting one place and five points adrift of their capital rivals.
As such, a win for Chelsea would see the Blues close the gap to just two points, whereas a victory for Tottenham would see the North Londoners open up a likely-insurmountable 8-point lead over Antonio Conte’s side.
Troubles on the road?
Writing in his weekly predictions column for Sky Sports, Paul Merson today had his say on how he feels as though proceedings at Stamford Bridge will pan out this weekend, with one claim on the part of the former Arsenal man having since led to major backlash online.
Merson first explained:
‘This is a massive football match. It either opens up the top four or closes it and it’ll be finished but I’m going to go for it to be blown wide open because I fancy Chelsea to win this game. I don’t see how Tottenham win without Harry Kane (Mauricio Pochettino has since revealed that Kane could yet feature) but in a must-win game, Spurs have to go there and make sure they don’t lose.’
However, it was the following claim which has since had many questioning the wisdom of the former Arsenal star, after Merson revealed his opinion that Tottenham’s away form is not befitting of a side in their position in the Premier League table:
‘I know Chelsea’s record hasn’t been great lately, they’ve won five of their last 18, but I still fancy them to win this football game with the way Willian and Eden Hazard are playing too, especially Willian. Tottenham are not the greatest team away from home for where they are in the league so for me, I think the top-four race will be blown wide open.’
To be clear, Tottenham currently sit 4th in the English top-flight, but, if the table was based purely on away games, Mauricio Pochettino’s men would actually be in 2nd, behind only Manchester City: