Paul Merson has tipped Brighton to beat Tottenham this weekend after he was left impressed by Roberto De Zerbi’s side against Liverpool last week.
Antonio Conte’s men were humbled at Arsenal on Saturday, losing the north London derby 3-1.
It ended their unbeaten start to the campaign, while Arsenal remained top of the Premier League with seven wins and one defeat after eight games.
Tottenham haven’t been overly impressive this term despite going seven games without losing.
And former Arsenal midfielder Merson thinks defeat at Brighton could prove that their unbeaten start was ‘papering over the cracks’.
“Tottenham looked rattled against Arsenal and just as they tried to claw their way back into the game, it was half-time and that allowed the Gunners to take complete control,” he told Sportskeeda.
“I don’t know what Emerson Royal was doing, he’s not good enough and his side were embarrassed by their local rivals owing to his red card.”
Brighton picked up an impressive point against Liverpool at Anfield last week with Leandro Trossard grabbing a hat-trick.
It was De Zerbi’s first game in charge following Graham Potter’s departure, and Merson was impressed, backing the Seagulls to beat Spurs 2-0 on Saturday evening.
“I think Brighton will win this game, I liked what I saw against Liverpool. They dominated the Reds at Anfield and came away with a well-deserved point thanks to a Leandro Trossard hat-trick.
“Roberto de Zerbi has set quite the first impression and I’m excited to see what Brighton can do under his tutelage.
“Dejan Kulusevski has been a big miss for Tottenham, they are a much better team when he plays. Richarlison has had a decent start to life at his new club, but with all due respect to him, Spurs look much better with Kulusevski on the pitch and Richarlison coming on to run at tired legs.
“Tottenham fans have voiced their frustrations in recent weeks and this is what happens when you don’t win a few games as it’s a results business at the end of the day.
“That said, Antonio Conte has made Spurs a much better team and he’s a world-class manager who has won plenty of trophies across Europe.
“If you’re playing three at the back, your wingbacks need to be phenomenal, as is the case with Chelsea.
“With Tottenham, though, Emerson Royal is not good enough and tends to struggle badly when he’s off it. I like Ivan Perisic, but he isn’t getting any younger, so Conte has a thing or two to think about.
“Their midfielders also play it too safe at times, so it could well be said results have papered over the cracks at the start of the season for Tottenham.”
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