Paul Merson explains why West Ham will lose to Chelsea

Paul Merson - All Stars XI in action

Merson believes Ngolo Kante can shut down star West Ham man Dimitri Payet.

Paul Merson - All Stars XI in actionPaul Merson

Former Premier League ace Paul Merson is predicting a winning start for Chelsea at West Ham's expense as the 2016/17 campaign kicks off.

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 during the press conferenceChelsea 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 SeasonPassing AccuracyTotal Att AssistOntarget Scoring AttGoal AssistGoalsAppearancesMins Played
Dimitri Payet 2015-2016 80% 8 1 0 1 2 180

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 celebrates scoring their first goal with Dimitri PayetWest Ham's Manuel Lanzini with Dimitri Payet

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch