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Match Previews

PREVIEW: WEST HAM UNITED V ALBION

19 October 2017

Brighton & Hove Albion make their first visit to the London Stadium on Friday evening, when they come up against West Ham United live on Sky Sports, kick-off 8pm.

Chris Hughton’s team head to the Hammers’ new home after almost taking maximum points against Everton at the Amex last Sunday, but for Wayne Rooney’s 90th-minute penalty which made it 1-1.



Heading into the weekend’s fixtures, the Seagulls occupy 14th position in the Premier League with eight points from eight games, while Slaven Bilic’s team sit one place behind on goal difference.



After numerous trips to Upton Park, West Ham’s previous ground, Albion supporters will have their first chance to watch their team play at the London Stadium, which also served as the home stadium for the 2012 Summer Olympics.



TEAM NEWS:

Hughton hopes to have Shane Duffy available for the trip to east London, after the defender was withdrawn in the second half against the Toffees.



Sam Baldock and Beram Kayal will continue their recoveries from injury as they feature for Albion’s under-23s against Middlesbrough at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre tomorrow.

Striker Tomer Hemed will serve the final game of his three-game suspension, with Glenn Murray is favourite to lead the line for the Seagulls once again.



For West Ham, striker Andy Carroll will be missing through suspension, after he received a red card against Burnley, while Javier Hernandez is a doubt after picking up a suspected hamstring injury in training.



Elsewhere, James Collins is the only other absentee for the Hammers, due to an ankle injury.


FORM:


ALBION: The Seagulls head into Friday’s game looking for their first away victory of the season, with seven of their eight points coming from fixtures at the Amex.



After losing 2-0 to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium before the international break, Hughton’s team bounced back with an impressive performance against Everton at home.



Anthony Knockaert’s late strike looked like sealing all three points for the Seagulls, but Rooney dispatched from 12 yards in the dying stages after Bruno was penalised for a foul.



Albion have enjoyed home victories over West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United, 3-1 and 1-0 respectively, and came close to winning against Watford at Vicarage Road in a frustrating goalless draw.



Solly March gave Albion the lead on their league visit to Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, but a second-half turnaround denied the Seagulls, as Eddie Howe’s team ran out 2-1 winners.

WEST HAM UNITED: After opening the season with three consecutive defeats, the Hammers have picked up their form and are unbeaten in their last two games.



After sealing a narrow 1-0 victory over Swansea City, thanks to Diafra Sakho’s 90th-minute winner, Bilic’s team collected a point on the road, in a 1-1 draw against Burnley at Turf Moor.



After going 3-0 down at home to Tottenham Hotspur, the Irons pulled it back to 3-2 but couldn’t find a third goal to snatch a point, following a goalless draw against West Brom at the Hawthorns.



Their first victory of the season came at the London Stadium at the beginning of September, when two second-half strikes sealed a 2-0 win against Premier League newboys Huddersfield Town.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

ALBION 1
Knockert 82

EVERTON 1
Rooney 90 pen

Albion line-up: Ryan; Bruno, Duffy (Huenemeier 73), Dunk, Suttner; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, March (Izquierdo 73); Gross; Murray (Brown 85).

Subs not used: Krul (GK), Bong, Schelotto, Molumby.


LAST TIME OUT: WEST HAM

BURNLEY 1
Wood 85

WEST HAM UNITED 1
Antonio 19



West Ham United line-up: Hart; Cresswell, Fonte, Reid, Zabaleta; Antonio, Lanzini (Masuaka 88), Kouyate, Arnautovic (Obiang 45); Carroll, Hernandez (Sakho 75).



Subs not used: Adrian (GK), Noble, Ogbonna, Ayew.


PLAYER TO WATCH: Michail Antonio



The energetic winger has become a key member of Slaven Bilic’s squad, and scored his first goal of the season in the 1-1 draw at Burnley last weekend.



Antonio has added another dimension to West Ham’s attack, with his physical presence adding to his pace and power on the ball, as the 27-year-old threatens from wide areas.



Nine goals in the 2016/17 Premier League season helped earn Antonio his first call-up to the England squad, but the Hammer is still waiting for his first appearance in a Three Lions shirt.



Among Antonio’s 18 goals for West Ham, 12 have been headers, which highlights the winger’s aerial ability, and Albion will need to be mindful of that on Friday evening.


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