‘I think’: Paul Merson reveals his prediction for Arsenal v West Ham

Paul Merson looks ahead to Arsenal's home clash against West Ham United in the Premier League on Wednesday night

Paul Merson
Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports)

Paul Merson is backing Arsenal to claim a 2-1 win over West Ham United to boost their top-four hopes on Wednesday night.

The two London sides are preparing to face off in what could be an important game in the race for Champions League qualification this season.

Just two points separate the teams heading into Wednesday night’s showdown at The Emirates as both clubs look to kick off the hectic festive schedule with a positive result.

Arsenal head into the game on the back of their 3-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday, a game which captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed due to a disciplinary breach.

The Gunners announced on Tuesday that the Gabon international had been stripped of the captaincy as a result of the breach and that he would not be featuring against the Hammers.

West Ham, meanwhile, were held to a goalless draw by Burnley last time out as they dropped points for the second time in two games.

Former Arsenal and England midfielder Merson is tipping the Gunners to claim a narrow win over their London neighbours to boost their Champions League hopes.

Writing in his column for Sportskeeda, Merson said: “Wow, what a game this could turn out to be! West Ham played really well against Burnley but they couldn’t score.

“If Arsenal win this one, they’ll go above West Ham in the Premier League standings and that’s rather unbelievable considering where the two sides were a few weeks ago.

“I think Arsenal will win this one, they’ll make their home advantage count. West Ham look a bit tired at times and tend to rely on a group of players too much, which has started to show a bit in recent weeks.

“As for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, I don’t think he will return to the team immediately. He was punished by Mikel Arteta and wasn’t part of the matchday squad for the Premier League encounter against Southampton, so I’ll be shocked if he was named in the starting XI for this one.”

Arsenal have an excellent recent record against the Hammers in north London, with the Gunners having won 10 of their past 11 home league games against the east London outfit. Indeed, the Hammers have won just two of their past 26 games against the Gunners in the Premier League.

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