Paul Merson delivers West Ham vs Leicester verdict, pinpoints deciding factor

Pundit Paul Merson has tipped Leicester City to record a 3-1 win over West Ham United in Saturday afternoon’s Premier League clash at the London Stadium.

What’s the word?

Merson told Sky Sports:

“It is very tight up there competing for seventh. If Leicester are serious about snatching seventh spot they really have to win this game. They have a lot of difficult games coming up.

“West Ham will have to come out and have a go at Leicester and that is not what you really want to be doing. You look at Leicester’s results, when teams come out and have a go at them, they can then hurt their opponents on the counter with [Jamie] Vardy, [James] Maddison, [Demarai] Gray.

“If teams come and sit back like Newcastle did, they just find it too difficult to break teams down. West Ham, though, will have a go.”

The pressure is certainly on West Ham with the London club entering this match off the back of three straight Premier League defeats.

Indeed, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have lost to Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United in their last three, with their only victory since the start of March coming at home to already-relegated Huddersfield Town.

The Hammers are currently 11th in the table, five points off seventh-placed Leicester ahead of what is an important game at the London Stadium.

The home side’s supporters will be demanding a big performance, but Merson has claimed that West Ham’s desire to attack Leicester will cost them once again.

Does Merson have a point?

He certainly does. As mentioned, the home fans will be on West Ham this weekend, calling for the players to take the game to Leicester, which is just about the worst thing that you can do against the Foxes.

Indeed, sitting back and defending is the way to frustrate the former Premier League champions, who are so dangerous on the counter-attack due to the presence of Jamie Vardy & Co.

West Ham played on the front foot against Man United last weekend, but a similar tactic against Brendan Rodgers’ side could leave the hosts in big trouble.

Two of the last three Premier League meetings between these two teams have finished level, but Leicester edged a five-goal thriller when they travelled to the Hammers during the 2016-17 campaign.

And Leicester will certainly be hoping that it is a case of both teams having a go on Saturday afternoon.

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