Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson predicts Manchester City v West Ham

Paul Merson has backed Manchester City to beat West Ham United.

Pundit Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that he believes Manchester City will beat West Ham United 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium this weekend.

City have enjoyed a remarkable start to the campaign, winning all five of their league games without even conceding a goal - but the midweek Champions League defeat to Juventus means that Manuel Pellegrini's side must bounce back with a win against the team who have haunted the top sides already this season.

West Ham beat Arsenal 2-0 on the opening day of the season, and recently went away to Liverpool and came back with a 3-0 victory, with new manager Slaven Bilic getting the better of the so-called 'big clubs'.

Monday's win over Newcastle has Hammers fans excited about the future under Bilic, but they face a tough task against City this weekend.

The potential absences of Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero will give West Ham hope of a result, but pundit Paul Merson is still backing City.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson has predicted a 2-1 win for City - but admits that with West Ham's pace on the counter attack, he wouldn't be surprised if the Hammers managed to snatch a draw.

"This depends on Vincent Kompany - if he doesn't play it will be a different game. It will be even more difficult with no Sergio Aguero, as we saw against Juventus," said Merson. "West Ham have bundles of pace in their team to cause problems, but if City can get David Silva on the ball, then it is a different game.

"I can only see a narrow win. West Ham have plenty in their side. You take away their two results against Leicester and Bournemouth and they'd be right up there. Was that the pressure of the fans? We don't know. I wouldn't be at all shocked if it ended in a draw," he added.

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