West Ham United travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon with stinging criticism ringing in their ears.

West Ham take on Palace fresh from a superb performance in a 1-1 draw with league leaders Liverpool on Monday night.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side pulled off something of a shock against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds given they went into the game off the back of three dismal defeats in a row.

As they have done so many times this season, though, West Ham rose to the occasion against a top six side and should have won the game.

The Hammers head to Selhurst Park looking to put a stop to attitude problems which have dogged their season.

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Complacency conundrum for Pellegrini

Pellegrini and several players including captain Mark Noble have admitted complacency against lesser clubs has been an issue for the East Londoners.

West Ham are determined to break that cycle.

But neither Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson nor rival BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson believe they will.

In fact the pair were in agreement with a scathing assessment of Pellegrini’s West Ham ahead of the clash.


Speaking on Sky Sports Merson predicts the Hammers will lose and said they should be ashamed.

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‘Serious questions need to be asked at West Ham’

“You never know what you are going to get from West Ham, this is not a massive game,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“Against Liverpool on MNF and think, ‘How can this team get beaten and concede four to Wimbledon?’ You really have to ask some serious questions about what is going on there, they were a completely different team.

“No disrespect to Wimbledon, but you should not be letting in four goals against a side bottom of League One. And then you play against a team like Liverpool with their front three and they never really looked like scoring.”

In his BBC Sport predictions, Lawrenson concurred but said the Hammers will manage a draw. And in a damning assessment he said West Ham’s players often look like they’ve just met.

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‘Have this lot just met in the street?’

“Marko Arnautovic should be back to lead the Hammers’ attack on Saturday because, if he is fit, he has to play,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“I am not quite sure what to make of Manuel Pellegrini’s side. Sometimes I look at them and think, ‘This lot are a good team’ and then there are games where I watch them and think, ‘Have this lot just met each other in the street?’

“That’s the way West Ham are, and part of the reason they are so inconsistent.”

Victory could see the Hammers jump up to eighth in the Premier League table.

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