Paul Merson's Premier League predictions - Week 21

Soccer Saturday pundit sees wins for Cardiff, Fulham, Everton and Chelsea

Wojciech Szczesny brings down Gabby Agbonlahor to concede a penalty, and though the Pole stops Benteke's pot kick he is unable to deny the follow up.
Image: Aston Villa: no chance of repeating opening-day win over Arsenal, says Merse

Aston Villa v Arsenal (7pm, Mon, Sky Sports 1)

Cardiff v West Ham

This is the biggest game of the whole season so far. Whoever loses here could be relo'd. If Cardiff lose this match then West Ham will go above them on goal difference and then they are unlikely to get anything from their next two games against Man United and Man City. They could be stuck in the bottom three and that will be demoralising. However, if they win then they will be six points clear of West Ham and will most likely still be above them after those two tough games. That's why this is massive. If Sam Allardyce got the sack then any other team at the bottom would take him, but he's in a major rut with West Ham. They are missing centre-backs, which is a real problem, and they've got no centre-forward. They've had bad luck, but the way they've lost matches is really not good. They've brought in Roger Johnson, who can't get in a League One team and has been on loan at a team near the bottom of the Championship. That shows you where West Ham are at the moment and I've got to go for Cardiff. I really hope West Ham don't go down though because their fans are a different class - just look at how many went to Nottingham Forest and Man City this week! PAUL PREDICTS: 1-0

Everton v Norwich

Everton had a dodgy result against Sunderland on Boxing Day, but still managed to dominate the game with 10 men and have won both of their home games since then. I expect them to win this game against a Norwich side who are in trouble - but you can say that about every team in the bottom half of the table. If you can put two wins together then you will get out of it, but I just can't see Norwich getting anything out of this one. PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1

Fulham v Sunderland

This is another massive game, absolutely huge. Sunderland will wish they could take their cup form into league games because they've won six in a row. That sort of form would put them in the top half! However, I think Fulham are homers. They turn it on at Craven Cottage, as we saw in their massive game against West Ham after they'd been absolutely hammered by Hull. They followed that up with a decent result at Norwich in the FA Cup and overall I think they are a completely different animal at home. I predict a home win and that will put Sunderland majorly in trouble. PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1

Southampton v West Brom

For me, this is a bit of a nothing game. These two teams, along with Swansea are middle-of-the-table. None of those sides will go down and I don't think they will be pushing for Europe either. They're the sort of teams that should be playing their strongest sides in the FA Cup. Anyway, I think this will be entertaining and I think Southampton will just edge it. PAUL PREDICTS: 3-2

Tottenham v Crystal Palace

I hope Tim Sherwood does well at Tottenham because he's a good bloke, but the only thing he's really changed is playing Emmanuel Adebayor. A lot comes down to how well he plays because he can win you a football match, but if he doesn't play well then they're back to where they were. He goes from 10/10 to 3/10 and he was back to the latter against Arsenal last week, which is him all over. I think they can beat teams like Palace when he doesn't play well, but that won't be the case against top-half teams. Palace have been absolutely brilliant under Tony Pulis (they've shown everybody else how to play at Man City), but I just think Tottenham will sneak this because of Adebayor. PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0

Hull v Chelsea

Chelsea are just starting to kick into gear at the right time. They were a bit dodgy early on this season, but I watched them against Liverpool and they were outstanding and once they got on top against Southampton they ripped them to shreds. They have defended well when they've had to and when you can bring on subs like Willian and Oscar you can't help but do well. Hull are a decent team and thrashed Fulham 6-0 in their last home game, but with all due respect that's Fulham. This is Chelsea. I think it will be tight, but Chelsea will win it, most definitely. PAUL PREDICTS: 0-2 Think you know better than Merse? Prove it with our Super 6 game and win £250,000

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