Paul Merson explains why he predicts West Ham defeat to Arsenal

Upton Park

Will Arsenal beat West Ham this weekend?

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson is tipping his old team to beat West Ham weekend in a huge clash at the top of the table.

Arsenal are bidding to keep their title challenge alive, with the trip to Upton Park among the most difficult games they have remaining this season, along with an away clash at Manchester City.

West Ham are fighting to qualify for a Champions League spot, currently sitting in sixth place, seven back from third positioned Arsenal.

Merson told SkySports he believes the Gunners will win 2-1, explaining: "Both teams need to win. It's a good game really because a draw is no good to either of them. If Arsenal think they are going to win the league then they need to win this and a victory is as important to West Ham if they are to get in the top four.

"This is a hard one to call because West Ham are doing really well, but no one is better than Arsenal when playing without pressure."

The spotlight may be off Arsenal slightly, but to suggest they are playing without pressure is slightly exaggerating. Leicester City's form at the top of the league has meant that just one defeat would effectively kill off the Gunners' title hopes, leaving them walking a fine line.

Arsenal have hit a decent run of form since being knocked out of the Champions League and FA Cup, recording wins over Everton and Watford by a combined scoreline of 6-0, but will realise this match against a West Ham side which beat them at The Emirates this season will be a different test entirely.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch