Brighton & Hove Albion host West Ham United on Saturday after two very contrasting opening weekend results for the respective sides.
The Seagulls kicked off their Premier League campaign in style, with Graham Potter guiding his side to an impressive 3-0 win away to Watford in his competitive debut as Brighton manager. Here’s hoping everyone will now stand up take notice of this brilliantly progressive English manager.
The Hammers, meanwhile, couldn’t have got off to a worse start, going down 5-0 at home to defending champions Manchester City in what was, quite simply, a demolition at the London Stadium.
Will Brighton make it two out of two or will Manuel Pellegrini’s men bounce back from their opening game humiliation?
Read on for Brighton v West Ham previews, team news and predicted XIs.
When is Brighton v West Ham and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Amex Stadium
Date: Saturday, August 17
Kick-off: 3 PM BST
TV coverage (UK): N/A
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Last five meetings: Brighton v West Ham
02 January 2019: West Ham 2-2 Brighton
05 October 2018: Brighton 1-0 West Ham
03 February 2018: Brighton 3-1 West Ham
20 October 2017: West Ham 0-3 Brighton
14 April 2012: West Ham 6-0 Brighton
Aggregate score: Brighton (DWWWL) 9-9 West Ham (DLLLW)
Ones to watch
Brighton: Neal Maupay
After tearing the Championship apart with 25 league goals for Brentford last season, Neal Maupay has arrived in the Premier League in what may turn out to be an incredible piece of business from Potter. The former France U-21 international got off to the best possible start, bagging a debut goal during the Seagulls’ 3-0 rout of Watford last week and his predatory instincts could give Brighton that cutting edge they missed so much last season, very nearly leading to their demise in the Premier League.
Key stat: Only Teemu Pukki (29) scored more goals than Maupay (25) in the regular Championship campaign last season.
West Ham: Pablo Fornals
Along with Dani Ceballos, Pablo Fornals was spectacular at the Uefa European U-21 Championships in Italy this summer and the fact he didn’t start for West Ham against Man City came as quite the disappointment to many. He should absolutely be thrown in against Brighton, where his movement between the lines can drag the Seagulls out of shape, while his expert delivery will be a dream for a physical striker like Sebastien Haller. Fasten your seatbelts, Fornals could be something pretty special.
Key stat: Dani Ceballos (14) was the only Spanish player to make more key passes than Fornals (9) at the Uefa U-21 Euros this summer.
After scoring on his debut, Potter may be tempted to give club-record signing Maupay his first start for Brighton in place of Glenn Murray. That is likely to be the only headache the new Brighton boss has with his squad free of injury and suspension following the first game of the season.
Brighton Predicted XI: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Stephens, Propper; Trossard, Gross, March; Maupay.
New signing Albian Ajeti is still recovering from injury and could be forced to sit out West Ham’s trip to Brighton, while Jack Wilshere has been in training after an injury scare against Man City. Other than that, Pellegrini has a relatively full squad to choose from with Felipe Anderson expected to be in contention after overcoming a “small injury”.
West Ham Predicted XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Rice, Snodgrass, Lanzini; Felipe Anderson, Haller, Fornals.
Few will have predicted Brighton’s 3-0 hammering of Watford last week but that’s Graham Potter for you, he’s going to turn a few heads this season. West Ham will head into this match like a wounded animal after losing 5-0 at home to Man City but will probably just be happy to get a point on the board. Expect a solid, functional display from the Hammers to get them off the mark.
Brighton 1-1 West Ham