By Amir Mir

Paul Merson has backed Everton to beat Middlesbrough 3-1 in their Premier League clash on Saturday afternoon.

Sky Sports pundit Merson believes Boro are “in a bit of trouble” as the relegation pack behind them are “catching up with them”.

Aitor Karanka’s side have not picked up three points in the league since their 3-0 win against Swansea in mid-December.

As a result, the north east outfit are now sitting in 15th place, two points ahead of rock-bottom Sunderland.

A defeat against a Toffees team that recorded a 6-3 win in their last encounter could see them potentially drop into the bottom three.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson explains what Boro have to do in order to stop Koeman’s side from continuing their winless run.

“Everton are flying and Middlesbrough just don’t seem to score enough goals, at home or away,” Merson told Sky Sports. “Boro have to come out and try and win this game in front of their own fans. They are in a bit of trouble and teams are catching up with them.

“That could be their undoing, though, chasing the game against this in-form Everton side could be very dangerous.”

Koeman’s side have scored 15 goals in their last five league matches, picking up 13 points during those games.

By contrast, Boro have scored only 19 goals in their 24 matches this season, three fewer than Toffees front man Romelu Lukaku.

The Belguim international scored four goals against Bournemouth last Saturday to take his tally to 16 goals for the season.

Lukaku will be looking to continue that run and help his team close the gap on sixth-placed Manchester United in the table.

At this moment in time, the Goodison Park club sit in seventh place on 40 points from their 24 games, five points behind United and six points behind fifth-placed Liverpool.

In other Everton news, no Romelu Lukaku is the club’s best possible starting XI for the next campaign.

We’ve launched an << EXCLUSIVE TRANSFER WINDOW NEWS FEED>>. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Everton transfer news