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'People might give me a lot of stick for this, but...': Merson makes bold Palace v West Ham claim

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Paul Merson has made a bold claim about West Ham United and Crystal Palace ahead of the London derby at Selhurst Park on New Year’s Day.

Palace have looked really good under Patrick Vieira this season. They have been unlucky with a lot of their results, but they are an exciting team to watch now and are capable of getting the better of most sides in the country.

West Ham have improved immensely since the start of last season. They went from relegation contenders to a top-six side last term and David Moyes’ men are now dreaming of a place in the Champions League.

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It’s clear that both sides have improved a lot recently but there is still an eight-point gap between them in the league table. However, Merson believes that there isn’t a lot between the two sides in terms of quality.

Paul Merson: I can’t separate Crystal Palace and West Ham

The Englishman wrote in his column on Sportskeeda: “Both teams are coming on the back of fantastic results in the Premier League, so this could be a great game at Selhurst Park.

“People might give me a lot of stick for this, but I don’t think there is a lot between these two sides in terms of quality.

“Their league positions might suggest otherwise, but a closer look at Palace’s results this season will tell you that they’ve been incredibly unlucky. A lot of things went against them, so I believe they should be higher up the Premier League table.

“I can’t separate these two sides at the moment so I’m going for a 1-1 draw.”

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Crystal Palace have been extremely unlucky this season, nobody can deny that. Vieira’s men should’ve picked up many more points than they currently have on board, but man to man, they are still inferior to West Ham.

However, the Eagles’ recruitment recently has been absolutely phenomenal. They are on the right track and in a manager like Vieira, they have someone who can take them very far in the very near future.

As for the game tomorrow, it really is a hard one to call. If West Ham play like they did against Watford last time, they will likely pick up the three points, but if the Irons perform as badly as they did against Arsenal recently, Palace could blow them away.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out on New Year’s Day.

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