Paul Merson explains why he wants Liverpool win amid crucial Man City and Arsenal role

Paul Merson speaks to Roy Keane and Wayne Rooney ahead of Manchester United vs Arsenal at Old Trafford
Paul Merson believes Liverpool could still play a big role in the Premier League title race -Credit:Getty Images

Paul Merson has revealed his hopes for Liverpool's match at Aston Villa this evening following Arsenal's triumph over Manchester United, which means their Premier League title fight with Manchester City will go down to the wire.

That result also confirmed that Liverpool can't climb higher than third, regardless of their results in tonight's game at Villa Park or Sunday's home match against Wolves, which marks Jürgen Klopp's final game as manager.

Despite this, Arsenal legend Merson believes that Klopp's team still has a significant role in determining the championship's outcome.

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Tonight's game is arguably more crucial for Villa. After their heartbreaking exit from the Europa Conference League semi-finals, a win against the Reds would secure fourth place and a spot in next season's Champions League.

However, if Unai Emery's side either draws or loses to Liverpool, it could pave the way for Tottenham Hotspur to grab the last Champions League spot. Spurs are currently trailing Villa by four points in fifth place, and will host second-placed Man City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday.

So, while Spurs fans would hate to see Arsenal clinch the title, aiding their fiercest rivals could also boost their chances of entering Europe's top club competition.

Merson, who counts Villa among his former clubs, is therefore actually rooting for Liverpool in tonight's clash. He explained to Sky Sports why this match is crucial for the Gunners' Champions League hopes: "If Villa get beat, Tottenham are still in the race (for the Champions League).

"So they need to get something (against City), if Villa get beat. Every Arsenal fan needs Villa to get beat tomorrow. If Liverpool can get a result, Tottenham have to stay hungry on Tuesday.

"If Liverpool win by two or three goals, all of a sudden Villa play Crystal Palace (on the final day of the season). No-one wants to play Palace at the moment and Tottenham go to Sheffield United."

"If Villa get a result, there's no way. They won't be playing for anything. I've played in those games... they don't want Arsenal to win the league whatever happens.

"It will get to a stage where Tottenham fans will cheer if Man City score, they will. The one thing they don't want is for Arsenal to win the league the one thing.

"But they have no choice, if Villa get beat, than to stay hungry."

With City just a point behind Arsenal and their game in hand against Spurs, the title race is heating up. On the final day, City will face West Ham United at home, while Arsenal will welcome Everton. says: You'd hope Spurs players would have enough pride to want to beat City regardless of what happens between Liverpool and Villa this evening. Still, you can understand Merson's reasoning.

Liverpool winning would certainly make things more interesting when Spurs face City on Tuesday. If City wins that game, you may as well start engraving their name on the Premier League trophy.

* An AI tool was used to add an extra layer to the editing process for this story. You can read the original story in the Liverpool ECHO by clicking here.