Paul Merson states his prediction for West Ham v Chelsea

Paul Merson is backing Chelsea to keep themselves in the Premier League title race by beating West Ham United 3-1 at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues head into the game after having sealed a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge in midweek as they reached the last 16 as group runners-up.

Antonio Conte’s men have been in improved form in recent weeks and are currently in third place in the Premier League table as they look to try and defend their title this season.

Chelsea head into this weekend’s round of games nine points behind Manchester City, but know that they have the chance to close the gap to the Manchester clubs ahead of Sunday’s derby at Old Trafford.

West Ham, meanwhile, are second from bottom in the table and have been struggling to find consistent form all season.

And former Arsenal star Merson is fully expecting to see Chelsea claim all three points at the London Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Merson said: “These aren’t the games that matter for West Ham. I know it is a London derby and they don’t like each other.

“I don’t expect them to get anything from this, but if you lose to Arsenal and Chelsea it isn’t too bad.

“It is the games against Stoke, Newcastle and Bournemouth that matter most. Chelsea are a superior football team by far. West Ham’s battles are still to come.

“Chelsea have turned a corner, and have some good fixtures coming up, so I expect them to be putting pressure on Manchester City.”

Chelsea won the Premier League title in style last season in what was Conte’s first campaign in charge at the club.

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