Norwich, Swansea, Newcastle United, Sunderland and Aston Villa make up the bottom five and without a disastrous run of form from those above them, it appears they are the five relegation candidates.
Villa, rooted to the bottom with just 16 points, look gone but the two remaining spots are up for debate with all four clubs possessing plenty of weaknesses as they battle to stay up.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star, Merson tips Norwich and Swansea to join Villa in going down and pinpoints their activity during the January transfer window as a key factor.
“I fear for Norwich and Swansea when it comes to relegation this season. There’s always one team who end up on the glass mountain with moccasin slippers on, and it could be Swansea,” Merson said.
“You bring a foreign manager in at your peril at this stage of the season, because they don’t know this league and this kind of football.”
“Swansea look terrible at crosses and set-plays at the moment. You’ve got to go with a proven manager in these situations who knows what it’s all about.”
“Norwich could be in trouble too. They brought a lot of players in but some of them just look like signings to get you back up next season if you go down.”
“Barring Steven Naismith, who I think is a really good player, they don’t really turn your head and they just can’t get results at the moment.”
Swansea made the debatable decision to appoint former Udinese boss Francesco Guidolin as Gary Monk’s successor, while Norwich failed to bring in a much-needed goal scorer in January.
Both teams currently sit outside the relegation zone, with Newcastle United and Sunderland occupying 18th and 19th position respectively, but there is little to choose between the four teams.
The Black Cats are evidently improving under Sam Allardyce, while Newcastle have plenty of ability within their ranks to pick up points at St. James’ Park and pull clear of their rivals.