Tottenham host Arsenal this Sunday at White Hart Lane and Paul Merson can’t bring himself to back his former side against their bitterest rivals.

Paul Merson, who spent 15 years at Arsenal through his youth and a successful senior career, has given his vote of confidence to Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who are expected by many to secure a win this weekend.

Merson had some interesting words to say when questioned on Sky Sports. “Credit to Arsenal for that performance in the FA Cup semi-final against Man City. I didn’t see it coming.

“But I cannot bring myself to back them to beat Tottenham on Sunday. I weigh it up and think, where do Arsenal win this game?

“Alexis Sanchez needs the match of his life, Mesut Ozil needs to have an unbelievable performance, and it needs to go their way on the day.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m going 3-1 to Spurs this weekend. There’s a long way to go in this title race.”

Why Merson’s comments are justified

Tottenham’s smash-and-grab victory at Selhurst Park in midweek was the perfect example of how to prevail from a tricky test. Two weeks ago, Arsenal faltered in spectacular fashion at the same ground.

A stroke of fortune swung in favour of the Gunners on Wednesday as they snuck past Leicester at home, ensuring both north London sides should be raring to go ahead of an important upcoming fixture.

But Arsenal’s poor form since the start of 2017 has seen morale drop within the squad. Players are disappointed, supporters perhaps more so, and serious questions are being asked about how the club plan on moving forward in the long-term, starting this summer.

Whether Arsène Wenger stays or not, remains to be seen. But this is in stark contrast to Tottenham.

A victory here would crank up the pressure further on league leaders Chelsea, who are only four points ahead with five matches remaining.