'Hard game' - Paul Merson predicts West Ham vs Newcastle result
Paul Merson is predicting a hard game for West Ham when they take on Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday, speaking to Sportskeeda.
The Hammers will host the in-form Magpies looking to get back to winning ways after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Leicester last weekend in an entertaining encounter.
A win will see them move back into fourth place, albeit possibly temporarily, and Merson believes that with Newcastle’s new injury problems as well as Michail Antonio’s running up front that David Moyes’ side will come out as 2-0 winners.
“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.
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“The Magpies have been in good form, but this is a hard game for them.”
Newcastle had a wonderful January transfer window, but the problem they have is that one or two injuries to those players could see things fall apart again quite quickly.
West Ham will undoubtedly look to target their weaker areas, with Antonio likely to run the central defenders ragged with his pace and power while Jarrod Bowen has scored seven in his last seven games.
Moyes will set the team up to try and attack and ensure they’re under as little pressure as possible, and with the home fans behind them they should feel confident of getting a result.
A win would be huge in their chase for top four, heaving all the pressure on rivals Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United while adding points to their tally with less time remaining in the season.
It’s not in their hands anymore because of the other teams’ games in hand, but if they keep winning then you never know.
In other West Ham news, Alan Pardew backs West Ham for ‘special’ season, gives verdict on top 4 & Europa League