Paul Merson has claimed that he would be ‘shocked’ if Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham Hotspur beat Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea on Monday night in the Premier League.

Tottenham will host 11th-placed Chelsea, with Mauricio Pochettino returning to his old stomping ground and Paul Merson adding ‘for the first time in a very long time Tottenham fans are going to turn up expected to win’.

Those comments from the former Arsenal midfielder left the Sky Sports panel shocked, with Glenn Murray reminding him that Spurs are ‘top of the league’, as he told Soccer Special on Sky Sports (01/11/23 at 7:15 pm).

It has been an incredible start to the new season for those at Hotspur Way, who are benefiting without Europe, but the same can’t be said for their London rivals.

Chelsea were beaten 2-0 by Brentford over the weekend and they are sitting 11th in the table – 14 points behind the Premier League table-toppers.

If those at Stamford Bridge beat Ange Postecoglou’s side on Monday night, then you would think that would be a surprise, but not for Paul Merson.

Tottenham v Chelsea

“Chelsea fans would rather play them teams (who come at them),” said Merson. “Teams that come to Chelsea and sit back, it’s a struggle. I go and watch myself. Ten behind the ball.

“I am more confident about going to Tottenham on Monday than playing Brentford at home. I am. Because I know Tottenham will have a go – I am going Monday. I would be shocked if Chelsea lose, I would be shocked.”

Jamie Mackie responded: “You would be shocked if they lost?” and Merson repeated himself again to which ex-striker Glenn Murray added and then laughed: “Against top of the league?”

Danny Mills then told him: “I think you are on your own, Merse.”

Merson then explained: “This is the first time after a very, very long time, believe me, that Tottenham fans will be turning up expected to beat Chelsea. For the first time in a long time and they should. But it’s a different pressure now. They have to have a go.”

Pochettino returns to Tottenham

It wasn’t so long ago that Spurs fans were calling for Pochettino to return to the club when they were in dire straits towards the back end of last season.

Amid the supporters calling for Daniel Levy and ENIC to leave, there were also waves of Pochettino’s name being sung given that he was a free agent, at the time.

But it just goes to show that you should never go back because deciding to bring in Postecoglou has proven to be a masterstroke.

And it’s fair to say that those shouts for Pochettino will now turn to boos on Monday night when he walks down that touchline again.