The Sky Sports pundit isn't too optimistic about either side's chances in the Premier League next season.
Indeed, the former Arsenal midfielder doesn't quite predict that either side will be relegated but feels Sunderland will only just stay up and ranks West Ham in a similar category as they are one of the top flight's bottom 10 teams.
Merson has warned the Black Cats against becoming 'over-ambitious,' something that also applies to West Ham with the east London club now aiming higher and higher ahead of their move to the Olympic Park.
The Sky Sports pundit said: "Anyone who’s going to be in that bottom half of the table next season will be happy just to stay up and that’s where I think they’ll be again.
"It’s so important to stay up next year, with the TV money that’s going to be coming in. The bottom 10 teams - and I put West Ham in that bracket too - just need to survive.
"Sunderland can’t get carried away, being over-ambitious, because that’s when you get sucked in - they just need to stay up."
Considering the Black Cats' recent struggles, their owners may have little in the way of complaints with regards to Merson's comments.
West Ham's owners, however, will likely be aiming higher than simply surviving. After all, that was why Sam Allardyce was deemed surplus to requirements at Upton Park.
The calibre of manager recently linked with the east London club also suggests West Ham will be looking to go as far as possible both in Europe and the Premier League.
Can Sunderland and the Hammers do better than simply aiming to stay up...?