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Match Previews

PREVIEW: ALBION V WEST HAM UNITED

1 February 2018

Kieran Cleeves
Albion play West Ham United at the Amex Stadium this weekend.

Brighton & Hove Albion welcome West Ham United to the Amex Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3pm.

The Seagulls head into the match after drawing 1-1 against Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday evening, which came after a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the Emirates FA Cup.

Chris Hughton’s team currently occupy 15th position in the Premier League - but sit just one point above the relegation zone, as the league table continues to tighten - with just five points separating tenth to 19th.

The Hammers also drew 1-1 last time out, as they shared the spoils with Crystal Palace at the London Stadium, following a shock FA Cup defeat to Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium last weekend.


TEAM NEWS:

Jurgen Locadia began training with the squad on Thursday, and while Saturday's game will come too soon for the striker, Chris Hughton hopes to have him available for the trip to Stoke City on Saturday week.

Jiri Skalak (ankle) and Steve Sidwell (back and ankle) remain the only other absentees, and the Seagulls boss has a largely full-strength squad to choose from.

David Moyes has a number of injuries to his squad - with key players Manuel Lanzini (thigh), Winston Reid (groin), Michail Antonio (calf), Marko Arnautovic (thigh) and Andy Carroll (foot) all doubtful for the game.



Andrew Ayew (hamstring), Edmilson Fernandes (ankle), Arthur Masuaku (suspension) and Pedro Obiang (knee) also missed the midweek clash against the Eagles.




REVERSE FIXTURE:

The Seagulls secured their first Premier League away victory when they visited the London Stadium in October - with Glenn Murray’s brace and Jose Izquierdo’s stunner sealing the points.

It was Albion’s first visit to West Ham’s new home, and it proved a memorable night for the Seagulls’ fans in London that evening - as they performed excellently in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Murray headed home from a Pascal Gross free-kick to put Albion in front, before Izquierdo curled a brilliant effort beyond Joe Hart from outside the penalty area.

Albion’s number 17 concluded a fine evening for Hughton’s men in the second half, firing home from the penalty spot after Pablo Zabaleta was penalised for a foul on the striker inside the 18-yard box.


FORM:

ALBION: The spoils were shared when Hughton’s team travelled to St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday evening, as Jack Stephens cancelled out Murray’s penalty which gave the Seagulls a 1-0 lead early on.

It was Murray again who found the back of the net in Albion’s late 1-0 victory over Boro on Teesside - fortuitously seeing the ball bounce back off his knee from George Friend’s attempted clearance.

Albion were beaten 4-0 by Chelsea at the Amex beforehand, which followed on from a disappointing 2-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.


WEST HAM UNITED: The London club are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games, most recently sharing a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on home soil.

Mark Noble’s penalty restored parity to the scoreline after Christian Benteke headed the Eagles into a 1-0 lead at the London Stadium.

West Ham’s FA Cup run came to an end against Wigan Athletic, but an impressive 4-1 victory over Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium was followed up by another 1-1 draw against AFC Bournemouth.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

SOUTHAMPTON 1
Stephens 64

ALBION 1
Murray 14 (pen)

Albion line-up: Ryan; Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; March, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo; Gross (Kayal 82); Murray (Ulloa 76).

Subs not used: Krul (GK), Rosenior, Goldson, Knockaert, Baldock.


LAST TIME OUT: WEST HAM UNITED



WEST HAM UNITED 1
Noble 43 (pen)

CRYSTAL PALACE 1
Benteke 24

West Ham United line-up: Adrian; Byram, Collins, Ogbonna, Rice, Cresswell; Zabaleta, Kouyate (Oxford 86), Noble, Mario; Hernandez.

Subs not used: Hart, Fonte, Cullen, Quina, Haksabanovic, Martinez.



PLAYER TO WATCH: Cheikhou Kouyate

The midfielder signed for the Hammers from Anderlecht in 2014 and has been an ever present for the Londoners since making the switch - making over 30 Premier League appearances in every season since being at the club.

Kouyate has already racked up 20 league matches for the Hammers this season, scoring goals against Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City at the London Stadium.

The energetic central midfielder pulls the strings in the middle of the park for David Moyes’ team, and will be an important player for the Hammers as they look to avoid relegation from England’s top flight.

In total, the Senegal international, who plays as more of a defensive midfielder, has scored 15 goals in 139 appearances since moving to England, also chipping in with nine assists.


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