Home win: Paul Merson expects West Ham to lose at Old Trafford this weekend

Pundit Paul Merson has backed West Ham United’s disappointing Premier League form to continue away to Manchester United on Saturday afternoon.

What’s the word?

Merson told Sky Sports:

“I expect Man United to win this one. They’ll do well to turn their Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona around at the Nou Camp, so they’ve got to fight to get into the top four now.

“This is a ‘must win’ game for them. They’ve got to get this game won and then focus on that Barcelona second leg. West Ham have flip-flopped and they can’t really go anywhere.

“They had good stages in the Chelsea game, but it’s a bad run of games and their season’s finished. It’s just a case of getting through it.”

West Ham will certainly be the fresher of the two teams, having had since Monday evening to recover for the clash in Manchester.

Man United, on the other hand, were at home to Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday night – suffering a 1-0 defeat to the Spanish champions.

Merson has claimed that West Ham’s season has effectively ‘finished’, with the club’s players just waiting for the season to end.

The Hammers have now lost three of their last four in the Premier League and currently sit 11th in the table, five points off seventh-placed Leicester City.

Is Merson right to make the hosts favourites?

There is no question that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be desperate to collect all three points this weekend following a disappointing run of form.

Indeed, for all of the praise that has come United’s way in recent months, the 20-time English champions have lost four of their last five matches in all competitions.

The Red Devils also lost 3-1 at West Ham in the reverse Premier League match earlier this season, but have not suffered a home league defeat to the Hammers since May 2007.

It is therefore not a surprise that Merson has placed the home side as the favourites, with their recent record against West Ham at Old Trafford very strong indeed.

What’s more, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have only recorded four away wins in the Premier League this term, scoring just 14 times in their 16 fixtures.