West Ham United will face off against Brighton & Hove Albion as they look to register their first points of the new Premier League season.
David Moyes rued his West Ham United side’s misfortune last weekend when his players could not get a goal against Nottingham Forest, despite creating several gilt-edged opportunities. Steve Cooper’s side held on to their narrow lead to see the game out, but Declan Rice’s penalty miss was the game’s highlight.
That defeat was after West Ham lost their opening game to Manchester City, which has pinned them in the bottom three. Thanks to Manchester United’s even disastrous form, the Hammers find themselves in the 19th spot, and David Moyes will be keen to get out of there as soon as possible.
The Hammers did record their first win of the season in the UEFA Europa Conference League playoff the first leg against Viborg and will be aiming to keep momentum when they face off against Graham Potter’s side.
Brighton started the season well with a sensational victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford. The victory was a perfect response to doubters who speculated that the Seagulls would be weakened by the departures of Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella.
However, Brighton’s biggest problem in the top flight has been consistency, and it showed against Newcastle United last weekend, where they could only muster a draw. Potter will be keen to correct the narrative and lead his team to a win against the Hammers.
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West Ham United
David Moyes carefully tinkered with his team midweek against Viborg, deciding to keep Kurt Zouma, Pablo Fornals, Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma on the bench. The quartet will push for a start against Brighton, while the manager will have more options at the back following the arrival of Thilo Kehrer.
"We've seen enough from him already to suggest that he's got a lot of things going for him and hopefully he will help us."
— West Ham United (@WestHam) August 20, 2022
The former PSG defender started midweek and could be an option against Brighton. Aaron Cresswell and Declan Rice are also expected to return to the team after being suspended for the Viborg clash. Meanwhile, Moyes afforded Angelo Ogbonna valuable minutes since his comeback from injury, although he may have Craig Dawson out with a muscle problem.
The midweek encounter also saw new arrival Gianluca Scamacca open his account for West Ham, and Moyes will be tempted to keep the Italian in the team. If that happens, Antonio will be an option off the bench, as the manager could switch to a 4-3-3, with Fornals slotting back in midfield.
Moyes could resist the temptation of starting Kehrer just yet and could stick with Zouma and Ben Johnson in central defence. Scamacca could have Jarrod Bowen and Benrahma on either side in the attack.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Johnson, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice, Fornals; Bowen, Scamacca, Benrahma
Potter will have an entire squad to select from, with Jakub Moder, the only absentee as he continues his rehab from knee surgery. New arrival Pervis Estupinan will also be in the squad, although there are doubts whether he will feature from the start.
Start your Saturday with some smiles! 😁 pic.twitter.com/evGIV6bzEP
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) August 20, 2022
Potter will stick with his preferred setup, lining up his team in a back three and a four-man midfield. Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo will be the preferred choices in the middle, flanked by Sonny March and Leandro Trossard in the wing-back slots.
Lewis Dunk will lead the defence, alongside Joel Veltman and Adam Webster. Adam Lallana and Pascall Gross will play slightly behind Danny Welbeck, who will lead the line following his solid form at the start of the campaign, which earned him a new contract at the club.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Webster; March, Caicedo, Mac Allister, Trossard; Gross, Lallana; Welbeck
- West Ham United have lost their last three matches in the Premier League.
- West Ham have drawn their last four home matches against Brighton in all competitions.
- Brighton are undefeated in their last ten matches against West Ham in all competitions.
- Brighton are undefeated in their last seven matches in the Premier League.
- West Ham have conceded at least two goals in their last three home Premier League matches.
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Rice is an important figure in this West Ham side and will be counted upon by Moyes despite his unfortunate penalty miss last weekend. The midfielder will be more than pumped to correct the wrongs of the Forest clash.
More importantly, the Hammers need their talisman to deliver the goods on the pitch after the club’s horrendous start to the season. Rice will be looked upon by his teammates and fans, who will be keen to see their team register their first points of this campaign.
West Ham United 1-1 Brighton
Brighton are a well-drilled unit but their patchy displays tend to cost a consistent climb up the table, which they are capable of. As for West Ham are desperate to get their campaign going but have only found joy against European minnows Viborg so far this season.
While one could excuse the defeat to Manchester City to an extent, the Nottingham Forest loss was unacceptable on many accounts. However, considering multiple factors, this clash with the Seagulls is poised to end in a draw, albeit an entertaining one.