Paul Merson reveals what ‘scared’ him about Newcastle United as he makes West Ham prediction

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Newcastle United take on West Ham United at the London Stadium this afternoon (kick-off 8pm).

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has predicted Newcastle United to get the better of West Ham United at the London Stadium this afternoon (kick-off 2pm).

Eddie Howe’s side return to league action following Wednesday night’s memorable 4-1 victory over French champions Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

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Merson admits he was “scared” the Magpies would be “overwhelmed” by the occasion on what was their first home game in the competition for 20 years.

 The teams line up before the UEFA Champions League match between Newcastle United FC and Paris Saint-Germain at St. James Park on October 04, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) The teams line up before the UEFA Champions League match between Newcastle United FC and Paris Saint-Germain at St. James Park on October 04, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
The teams line up before the UEFA Champions League match between Newcastle United FC and Paris Saint-Germain at St. James Park on October 04, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

But goals from Miguel Almiron, Dan Burn, Sean Longstaff and Fabian Schar seen United rise to the challenge.

“Newcastle pulled off an amazing result in the Champions League,” said Merson. They played it their way, put PSG under severe pressure, and got the crowd excited.

“I was scared they’d be overwhelmed by the occasions and play it like a European game. The tempo was unbelievable, and what we saw showed us that the Premier League is the best league in the world.”

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The Hammers also claimed a big European win of their own on Thursday by beating Freiburg 2-1 in Germany.

Newcastle have had an extra day rest, which Merson believes will make a “big difference” as he predicted Howe’s men to win 2-1.

West Ham aren’t going to make it very easy, but Newcastle do have an extra day to prepare and that will make a big difference,” he told Sportskeeda.

“They need a big result to follow up on their victory against PSG. This is their bread and butter. They’ve got to get back into the top four, and I think they’ll win this game.”

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David Moyes’ side sit one point and one place above Newcastle, who are currently six games unbeaten, in the Premier League table.

The Magpies’ last visit to the London Stadium ended in a 5-1 win with Callum Wilson and Joelinton scoring braces. Both players are set to undergo late fitness tests having carried a hamstring injury in recent weeks.

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