Merson believes Ngolo Kante can shut down star West Ham man Dimitri Payet.
Chelsea host West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Monday night and Merson has told SkySports he can only see a Blues win.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte
He believes Chelsea will win 2-0 and new signing N'golo Kante will be absolutely key to their success, arguing that he can shut down prolific Hammers playmaker Dimitri Payet.
He said: "It's a difficult start for both teams but I'm going for Chelsea to win the league so I'm going for a Chelsea win here too.
"If N'Golo Kante gets around Dimitri Payet, I don't see Payet touching the ball too often. He's a top player and you don't want to be giving away free-kicks around the box, but he's not really going to run away from defenders."
|Record v Kante's Leicester||Season||Passing Accuracy||Total Att Assist||Ontarget Scoring Att||Goal Assist||Goals||Appearances||Mins Played|
Payet had a mixed record against Kante's Leicester City last season, scoring once in two games, from just one shot on target. He did not provide any assists but did create eight chances during the two matches.
Where Merson's call may fall short, is the way West Ham have added support around Payet this season, bringing in Sofiane Feghouli to add to Michail Antonio, while Gokhan Tore and Manuel Lanzini are also difference makers if they are available.
West Ham's Manuel Lanzini with Dimitri Payet