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Merson predicts Hammers result

Paul Merson believes West Ham will have enough to beat Newcastle this weekend and has backed the Hammers to win 2-0.

The two sides meet in the early kick-off on Saturday in what is a vital game at both ends of the Premier League table.

West Ham are currently fifth, two points behind Manchester United, and a win is required to keep pace with the top four, especially given that Arsenal, Wolves, and Spurs all have at least one game in hand on the Irons.

Newcastle, by comparison, have won their last three games and have subsequently climbed out of the relegation zone; they now sit 17th and are four points clear of Norwich, while they also have a game in hand on the Canaries.

Merson, though, thinks that the absence of right-back Kieran Trippier is going to have a significant impact on Newcastle’s chances of winning the game, and has backed Mikey Antonio to put the Magpies to the sword.

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He told SportsKeeda: “Four weeks ago, this game wouldn’t have been much of a contest as Newcastle United were in a dreadful run of form. They’ve now won three games on the trot and climbed out of the relegation zone. That said, I still fancy West Ham to win as I don’t think Newcastle will be able to live with the threat posed by Michail Antonio upfront.

“Additionally, Kieran Trippier is a massive loss for them. He’s been a fantastic addition to the squad as well as the dressing room and has scored two massively important goals for Newcastle since signing for the club in January. The Magpies have been in good form, but this is a hard game for them.”

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.