By support

30th Dec, 2016 | 9:39am

Paul Merson predicts West Ham v Leicester, identifies key player

By Dominic Toner

Paul Merson believes that West Ham will overcome Leicester on Saturday in the Premier League and has hailed the importance of Andy Carroll.

The Hammers travel to the King Power Stadium full of confidence after three consecutive victories in the league, including an impressive 4-1 win at Swansea in their last game.

Slaven Bilic’s side have climbed up to 11th in the table after a good run of form and appear to have put their bad start to the season behind them.

Meanwhile, opponents Leicester are really struggling in their defence of the Premier League crown and are 16th in the table, just three points above the relegation places.

Sky Sports pundit Merson feels that West Ham will be able to hurt the Foxes and claims the team play well when Carroll is involved.

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“With Andy Carroll up front, West Ham are a completely different team,” Merson wrote on the Sky Sports website. “These wins have given them confidence and all of a sudden they’re flying – while Leicester are struggling at the moment.”

Merson has tipped the Hammers to win 3-1 and prove too much for a struggling Leicester.

Carroll’s return from a serious knee injury has played a major role in the club’s climb up the league table.

The 27-year-old forwards has been extremely unfortunate with injuries during his career, but is regarded as a reliable Premier League scorer when fit.

He has scored twice in five games since his return and has ensured that West Ham are not involved in a relegation battle.

Carroll has managed to bring the best out of his teammates and is expected to trouble the Leicester defence on Saturday.

In other West Ham news, David Sullivan has responded to a reported £20million takeover of the club.