The opening day of the 2019/20 Premier League brought very different outcomes for Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham.
The Seagulls surprised everybody with their opening day performance, taking Watford apart at Vicarage Road to earn a surprise 3-0 victory.
The Hammers, meanwhile, experienced the toughest challenge possible, hosting Premier League champions Manchester City at the London Stadium. Manuel Pellegrini’s side were caned 5-0 by Pep Guardiola’s side, with Raheem Sterling netting a devastating hat-trick.
Here’s 90min’s preview of this weekend’s encounter.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Saturday 17 August|
|What Time is Kick Off?||15:00 (BST)|
|Where is it Played?||Amex Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Gillette Soccer Special|
Where to Buy Tickets
Brighton go into this match with the same players available as their opening fixture. Neal Maupay is likely to play some part after coming on to score the third against Watford, while Jose Izquierdo, Yves Bissouma and Ezequiel Schelotto will still be unavailable through injury.
As for West Ham, long-term servant Mark Noble is racing to be fit for the trip to the Amex, while Brazilian winger Felipe Anderson is a doubt after limping off on the opening day of the season.
However, he is already back in training, which will come as a huge boost to the Hammers as they hope to put right what went wrong on the opening day.
|Brighton||Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Burn, March, Locadia, Stephens, Propper, Gross, Maupay|
|West Ham||Fabianski; Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell, Wilshere, Rice, Anderson, Lanzini, Antonio, Haller|
Head to Head Record
This encounter quite literally couldn’t be any closer in terms of their head to head record, with both teams having won 18 and drawn 15 previous matches.
But it is Saturday’s hosts who have had the better of this fixture in recent years, with the Hammers not having won since 2012, when they thrashed the Seagulls 6-0 during a Championship match.
But since both sides have been promoted to the Premier League, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have lost three and drawn one of the last four encounters, something which – like West Ham’s battering at the hands of Manchester City – will fill Potter and his men with optimism.
With only pre-season results and a single Premier League match to go on, current form isn’t exactly a reliable method of predicting which way this match will go – but it’s worth taking a look at nonetheless.
The loss on Saturday was the second humping City have inflicted on West Ham in a matter of weeks, having also beaten them 4-1 in the Premier League Asia Trophy semi-final.
But they did enjoy some positive results during pre-season, seeing off Hertha Berlin with a 5-3 win, as well as earning 1-0 victory against Championship outfit Fulham.
As for Brighton, they continued their winning ways from pre-season when they put three past Watford on the opening day.
A 4-0 win against Birmingham City and 2-1 victory over Champions League side Valencia were the standout results in their pre-season campaign.
Here are both team’s last five results in all competitions.
|Watford 0-3 Brighton (10/08)||West Ham 0-5 Manchester City (10/08)|
|Brighton 2-1 Valencia (02/08)||West Ham 2-2 Athletic Bilbao (03/08)|
|Birmingham 0-4 Brighton (27/07)||Hertha Berlin 3-5 West Ham (31/07)|
|Fulham 2-1 Brighton (20/07)||Fulham 0-1 West Ham (27/07)|
|Crawley Town 0-1 Brighton (19/07)||Newcastle 1-0 West Ham (20/07)|
Given the results last weekend and the fact that Brighton will be playing at home, they’re probably somewhat unexpectedly the favourites going into this tie.
But the Hammers shouldn’t be written off given the strength they possess in attack themselves. Their first half performance against City was a very positive one and one which saw record signing Sebastian Haller earn plenty of plaudits, despite not getting on the scoresheet.
In truth, this could go either way but Brighton’s solidity at the back and attacking prowess should give them the slight edge.
Prediction: Brighton 2-1 West Ham