By Amir Mir
Paul Merson believes West Ham will lose 2-1 to relegation threatened Swansea on Boxing Day at the Liberty Stadium.
Sky Sports pundit Merson stated the fact that the Welsh side have scored seven goals in their last two home fixture as he expects them to score another two on Monday afternoon.
Slaven Bilic’s side picked up 1-0 win against fellow strugglers Hull City at the weekend, but the London club were lucky to leave away with three points.
The Tigers hit the woodwork on three occasions, before captain Mark Noble stepped up to score a controversial penalty.
Ahead of the festive game, former Arsenal and Aston Villa midfielder Merson explained why it is such an important game for Bob Bradley’s side.
“Swansea have to win this game, it’s as simple as that. If you look at their last two home games they’ve scored three and four goals,” Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“I watched West Ham get the biggest run around ever the other day against Hull, if they’d have lost by four or five goals there could have been no complaints. This is a cup final for Swansea if they want to stay in touch at the bottom.”
Between them, West Ham and Swansea have picked up eight wins this season, that is the same amount of victories than Manchester United who sit in eighth.
Additionally, the duo have not just struggled to pick up points, but they have also found it difficult to keep the goals out.
Bilic’s side have conceded 31 goals from their 17 league games as they sit in 13th place on 19 points, five points ahead of the bottom three.
By contrast, Bradley’s men have shipped a league high of 37 goals as they are in the bottom three on 12 points from their opening 17 fixtures.
After their trip to Wales, the east London club will travel to the Midlands to take on champions Leicester City on New Year’s eve, before taking on Manchester United on home soil two days later.