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West Ham United vs Brighton & Hove Albion: Match Preview | Premier League 2021/22

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West Ham United will welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to the London Stadium in the fourteenth round fixture of the Premier League season. While the fourth-placed Hammers will be looking to break a run of two successive defeats in the league, the Seagulls who are winless in eight top-flight fixtures will hope to cause an upset when they travel up the country to East London.

Despite losing both their last two league games against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City, the high-flying Hammers are still fourth on the standings with 23 points. However, with Arsenal breathing down their necks at fifth and only separated by goal difference, David Moyes’ side will hope to put some distance between themselves and their London rivals.

While for Brighton, things have not looked particularly bright since their strong start this season. Despite being in the top half of the table, Brighton fans booed the team in their last draw against Leeds United – a reaction that perplexed Graham Potter who addressed it in the post-match interview. The Seagulls have 18 points from their 13 games, and are only two points adrift of sixth place.

The head-to-head record between the two sides favours the visitors, who have won three out of the total ten times that the two teams have met each other – while five ended in draws, two were won by the hosts this weekend. Both fixtures between the two teams ended in draws last season, as a 2-2 draw at the London Stadium was followed by a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium this year.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Date: Wednesday, 1st December 2021.
Time: 8:30 pm (UK).
Venue: London Stadium, London.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Chris Kavanagh.
Assistant Referee: Dan Cook and Dan Robathan.
Fourth Official: Andre Marriner.
VAR: Jared Gillett and Neil Davies.

TEAM NEWS

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With Aaron Creswell missing out with a back injury, Vladimir Coufal is set for a return to the starting eleven for West Ham with Ben Johnson switching flanks. Jarrod Bowen will almost certainly return to the team replacing Arthur Masuaku, while Manuel Lanzini – fresh off scoring a brilliant consolation goal off the bench at the weekend against Manchester City – will also hope to be rewarded with an opportunity ahead of Said Benrahma or Pablo Fornals.

As for Brighton, Potter might stick with the back four that started at the weekend against Leeds, but there will likely be changes up the pitch. Enock Mwepu, Solly March and Alexis Mac Allister are all pushing for a recall to the starting eleven, while young right back Tariq Lamptey who is fresh off a hamstring injury is likely not to be risked twice in the span of a few days.

MATCH ANALYSIS

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Brighton has been a bogey game for the Hammers in recent years, as West Ham have only won two of their ten meetings in the Premier League. David Moyes’ men will hope to change their recent form as well as their history against their mid-week opponents, and hence it is likely that West Ham will be motivated to get a positive result. Still boasting a healthy goal difference proves that the Hammers do not have a goalscoring problem, as only Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City have scored more goals than West Ham this season (24).

The story is quite different for their opponents on Wednesday, as Brighton have not been able to score from open play in their last three fixtures in the league. Despite their strong start, the issues in front of goal has eventually slowed the Seagulls down in their flight – only Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur have scored lesser goals than Brighton & Hove Albion this season (12). Potter hopes that their fortunes in the final third will get better, as Neal Maupay needs to find his shooting boots sooner rather than later to pose a challenge to the West Ham rearguard.

KEY PLAYERS

Michail Antonio:

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The hosts’ main man is their top marksman and talisman Michail Antonio. The Jamaican forward is the Hammers’ top scorer with six goals in the Premier League this season so far, but finds himself in a bit of a rough patch having not scored for West Ham in the league since their Tottenham Hotspur fixture in October. But regardless of his goalscoring drought, Antonio continues to be very important for the East London outfit with his intimidating presence posing a real problem to opposition defenders. West Ham’s top goalscorer is strong and quick with an eye for goal and possesses all the traits needed to be a deadly centre-forward.

Leandro Trossard:

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As for the visitors, their main man is attacking midfielder Leandro Trossard. The Belgian midfielder is a real creative presence for the Seagulls, and often is the one to pop up with a goal involvement – no other Brighton player has more goal involvements than Trossard this season (3 goals and an assist). The 26-year-old is a versatile customer who has played a plethora of positions for Potter in his spell at the South Coast, but will likely start on the right flank as he and Solly March try to feed Neal Maupay to score Brighton’s first goal in 3 games.

PROBABLE LINEUPS:

West Ham Utd (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Zouma, Johnson; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio.

Brighton & Hove Albion (4-2-3-1): Sanchez; Veltman, Webster, Dunk, Cucurella; Bissouma, Mwepu; Trossard, Moder, March; Maupay.

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