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Paul Merson’s Premier League predictions for Arsenal vs West Ham and Chelsea vs Everton


Former Arsenal midfielder Merson has run the rule over his old club ahead of a big London Derby, as well as assessing Chelsea’s chances amid a full midweek Premier League programme

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In pictures: Arsenal v Southampton

The busy Premier League festive programme continues this week, with a near-full round of midweek fixtures.

While Manchester United’s meeting with Brentford has been postponed amid a Covid outbreak, a number of other clubs will return to the pitch over a three-day stretch of games.

There is an intriguing London derby on Wednesday, with Arsenal hosting West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium, while the top three are also back in action after their narrow weekend victories.

Former Arsenal and England player Paul Merson has run the rule over the upcoming fixtures, giving his predictions for the Gunners’ home game – which comes against the backdrop of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang losing the club captaincy – and Chelsea’s meeting with Everton.

What are your predictions for the Arsenal and Chelsea games? Have your say in the comments section

Arsenal will be without Aubameyang for Wednesday’s game
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Even without Aubameyang, who has been stripped of the captaincy following a disciplinary breach, Arsenal have been tipped by Merson to win a second game on the bounce.

The London side beat Southampton on Saturday without the Gabonese forward, and the club have revealed the 32-year-old “will no longer be our club captain, and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday’s match against West Ham United.”

Arsenal beat West Ham 2-1 last season, and they have been backed to repeat the feat.

“Wow, what a game this could turn out to be! West Ham played really well against Burnley but they couldn’t score,” Merson told Metro.

“If Arsenal win this one, they’ll go above West Ham in the Premier League standings and that’s rather unbelievable considering where the two sides were a few weeks ago.

“I think Arsenal will win this one, they’ll make their home advantage count.

“West Ham look a bit tired at times and tend to rely on a group of players too much, which has started to show a bit in recent weeks.

Arsenal came back from 3-0 down to draw with West Ham in their last meeting
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Chelsea also won their last league game, though they left it late to clinch victory at home to Leeds United.

Jorginho’s stoppage-time penalty settled the game, but Merson expects the Blues to be more comfortable against Everton.

Rafa Benitez’s visitors are coming off a weekend defeat at Crystal Palace, and have lost their last four away from home.

“I think this is an easy one to call, so I predict a 3-0 win for Chelsea,” Merson said.

“Everton are sitting ducks at the moment and I just don’t give them a chance.

“They were fortunate to beat Arsenal and didn’t do anything extraordinary that day, they just showed a lot of heart and scored an absolute peach to win it late in the game.

Everton haven’t won an away game since August
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Pointing at Everton’s “dismal” recent record, he anticipates the home side having little trouble scoring, but pointed to Romelu Lukaku’s recent struggles in front of goal.

“The only question for Chelsea is Romelu Lukaku’s situation,” Merson said of the Belgian, who hasn’t found the net in the league since returning from injury at the end of November.

“He’s clearly back fully fit now, but when is he going to get back into the team?

“If he stays on the bench for a few more games, people will start to wonder if Thomas Tuchel really fancies him or not.”

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