Friday night Premier League football is back and Paul Higham expects West Ham to continue trending upwards with a win at Brighton.
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Brighton v West Ham (Friday 2000 BST, Sky Sports)
The lesser-spotted Friday night Premier League football comes your way with a game between two teams that, funnily enough, played on a Friday night last season as well, but there’s no expectation of a repeat of that 3-0 win Brighton enjoyed at the London Stadium - or the 3-1 home victory at the Amex.
There’s only one place and two points between these two teams after seven games this season, but the difference should be much greater come May as West Ham look like they are at the start of an upward curve, with their front three of Marko Arnautovic, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko looking especially dangerous.
The Hammers had a dreadful start under Manuel Pellegrini but seven points from games against Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United shows that they are a level above Friday night’s opponents in terms of quality.
They are certainly better playing on the counter attack so an away day holds few fears for them and, although Brighton are better at the Amex than on the road, they have only won once this season – and beating Manchester United at home is becoming less and less of an achievement these days.
Brighton have endured a tough start so that is one mitigating circumstance for their one win so far this season, but they have also had to come from two down to scrape draws with Fulham and Southampton and on that form West Ham should have too much for them – despite being slight underdogs with the bookies.
Prediction: Brighton 1-3 West Ham (Sky Bet odds: 25/1)
Brighton are ever-so-slightly favoured to win this one and they have produced some decent displays at home, but they have not been able to keep teams out having conceded twice in every game at the Amex. Just going on the gap in quality and their respective recent performances, West Ham get the nod.
Best bet: West Ham to win at 9/5
This could look a steal come the end of the season if West Ham keep going in the same direction. There is the chance of an inspired home performance from the Seagulls similar to the Manchester United win, but the Hammers just look like they are cranking into gear and should have too much for the hosts.
Goals: Yarmolenko to score anytime at 5/2
There should be plenty as they have only got one clean sheet between them this season but, given that West Ham will be away from home and looking to play on the break, the dangerous and imposing Ukrainian winger is taken to repeat the trick from the game at Everton.
RequestABet: West Ham win, both teams to score, 12+ match corners, Yarmolenko any time at 25/1
Pretty simple roll-up of our selections so far but we have thrown in the corners as there should be plenty of action in this one - and the last two Brighton games have gone over this mark along with West Ham's last outing.
Brighton v West Ham Opta stats
- Brighton won both Premier League matches against West Ham last season, scoring six goals, more than any against any other side in 2017-18.
- West Ham have lost all three of their top-flight visits to Brighton, losing in 1981-82, 1982-83 and 2017-18.
- Brighton have won four top-flight matches against West Ham, only winning more against Wolves (6).
- Brighton have lost just one of their last 16 league matches in October (W7 D8), a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal last season.
- Brighton have won two of their three Premier League games played on a Friday (L1), including a 3-0 win against West Ham last season.
- West Ham are looking to secure back-to-back Premier League away wins for the first time since February 2017.
- Each of West Ham’s last seven Premier League victories have been by at least a two-goal margin, with their last three all finishing 3-1.
- Brighton lost their last home Premier League match against Spurs – they’re yet to lose back-to-back games at the Amex Stadium in the competition.
- Brighton striker Glenn Murray has scored five goals in his last four league matches against West Ham, including three last season for the Seagulls.
- Brighton manager Chris Hughton’s four Premier League wins over West Ham have all come against different managers (Avram Grant, Sam Allardyce, Slaven Bilic and David Moyes).