West Ham have turned a corner since March’s international break, securing a vital victory against fellow strugglers Southampton before drawing 1-1 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last week.
That has given the Hammers a six-point advantage over the relegation zone, allowing David Moyes room to breathe, but the fight against the drop is not over yet, particularly with another crucial game against Stoke City on the horizon.
The Potters, sat second-bottom in the Premier League, would move within four points of West Ham with a victory on Monday and the game has been dubbed a ‘cup final’ by Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson.
However, he expects West Ham to emerge triumphant in a result that would put the Hammers on the verge of retaining their top-flight status. Predicting a 2-1 win, he said:
“It’s a cup final for Stoke, a game they have to win to have a chance of staying up. But I think they are going to lose and they are going to be in major trouble. Marko Arnautovic has looked good recently and could cause problems against his former side.”