Brighton vs West Ham – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 4th March 2023
AMEX Community Stadium
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we look at Crystal Palace’s trip to Villa Park. West Ham haven’t won away from home since August, but Brighton have lost 3 from 5 home matches. Can West Ham upset the odds? Read on with our Brighton vs West Ham prediction.
Brighton vs West Ham Match Preview
Brighton started the season very well, but their progress has stalled recently. They did win away at Stoke midweek to book their FA Cup quarter-final place against League Two side Grimsby. However, their form over the previous four in the league could have been better. Indeed, Brighton have only won one of these, a narrow win at home to lowly Bournemouth. A 1-0 defeat against fellow surprise package Fulham two weeks ago was disappointing, arriving with a Solomon goal with only two minutes to go.
Could Brighton’s scintillating form be settling down and them reverting to more of a mid-table side’s form? Certainly, Brighton have some quality players and a progressive coach in De Zerbi. However, their model relies on being shrewd and intelligent with their transfers and youth, which can be challenging to maintain. Still, the last four games may be a blip, given their FA Cup distractions. They are still in eighth place, having played fewer games than anyone else in the league. Their home and away results are almost identical (they have one more point away), highlighting that it makes no difference to them where they play – they still try to play exciting football.
West Ham travel south with a slight upturn in results. They will be disappointed with surrendering the lead and losing late at Old Trafford in the FA Cup in midweek. However, coach David Moyes will be pleased with their recent form in the league. Indeed, having lost three of their four games immediately following the World Cup, the Hammers have managed to win two and draw two of their last five. These eight points constitute almost a third of their total this season (23) and could go a long way to seeing West Ham safe.
West Ham’s previous game was a convincing win at home to Forest, where they had expected goals of 3.04 to 0.55. However, they will be aware that Forest are generally awful on their travels and that a trip to Brighton represents a much stiffer test. Indeed, Brighton are undefeated in eleven games in all competitions against West Ham. They also won the reverse fixture 2-0 with a dominant display. Furthermore, the London club have only won once away from home this season, and that was in August. West Ham likely need another 12 to 15 points to be safe.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Estupinan, Colwill, Gilmour, March
Will Not Play: Lallana, Moder
Might Not Play: Fabianski, Zouma, Coufal, Cornet
Will Not Play:
Brighton vs West Ham Lineups (Predicted)
Brighton (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): Sanchez; Estupinan, Dunk, Webster, Veltman; Caicedo, Gross; Mitoma, Mac Allister, March; Ferguson
West Ham (4-3-3): Areola; Cresswell, Aguerd, Ogbonna, Johnson; Soucek, Rice, Paqueta; Benrahma, Ings, Bowen
Brighton vs West Ham Analysis
Brighton’s Form Has Stalled A Little
Brighton’s first half of the season was excellent. Their win in the first game at Old Trafford indicated they were determined to have a good campaign. However, they have regressed slightly. After scoring sixteen goals and recording four wins in six games, the previous four have witnessed only one victory and four goals scored. Indeed, their games have been low-scoring, with the last three seeing fewer than three goals per game. This run could be an anomaly. Indeed, the Fulham game was a smash-and-grab; while considering the possible weaknesses of a metric such as xG, Brighton had 2.3 xG (and 65 per cent possession) to Fulham’s 0.3 yet lost the game 1-0.
Equally, in the game before at Palace, they had 75 per cent possession and 2.2 xG to 0.8 but could only draw. Brighton are likely less clinical than they were earlier in the season. Indeed, people can argue they are a team that relies on creating plenty of chances as they lack out-and-out goalscorers or finishers. However, they generally have a similar xG to actual goals scored. The problem may be diminishing individual performances. Whatever the reason, Brighton need to get back on track if they want to push for Europe.
West Ham’s Results Have Improved Recently, But They Must Sustain It
As stated, West Ham have seen an upturn in results which will relieve some pressure on Moyes. Indeed, they will be delighted with their work last weekend, as five of the other bottom eight lost, so they gained points on numerous teams. However, whether they can maintain this form remains to be seen. After Brighton, they have Villa, Southampton, Arsenal, Fulham, and Newcastle in their next five. This constitutes a run against some quality teams, though mercifully for West Ham (given their away record), four of the games are at home.
West Ham also have the return of the Conference League next week, with a home tie against AEK Larnaca. Therefore, distractions are coming into play for a relatively thin squad. If West Ham are to solidify their place in the Premier League next season, they must sustain this decent run. They must try to beat Villa and Southampton at the London Stadium. This match against Brighton is one they will want to win and try to end their winless away sequence, but they might be satisfied with a point given the run of games at home approaching.
The Pattern Of This Game And How The Teams Can Attack
The pattern of the game is likely apparent. Brighton have averaged much more possession and have more completed passes than West Ham this season. They will do what they tend to do – dominate the ball and take the game to the opposition. West Ham will sit in and counter; they know they are poor away from home and must be organised and resolute in trying to repel a talented Brighton attacking force.
Brighton will use Estupinan (if fit) from left-back to support the tricky and sensational Mitoma further upfield. That left side of Brighton’s is very potent. Johnson and his right-sided centre-back must be wary of Brighton taking them on and coming inside for shots or crosses on this flank. Mac Allister, Caicedo, and Gross will also do much work in midfield to give Brighton control of the game and a platform to attack. Youngster Ferguson might continue to impress up front. At the same time, March is always a danger from the right with his ball-carrying abilities and powerful shooting.
West Ham can find joy by winning the ball in the two deeper thirds and trying to break with the dribbling and pace of Benrahma, Bowen, Paqueta, Fornals, and Lanzini. Ings will likely start up front and must be clinical as chances will probably be few and far between. West Ham are also much better than Brighton in aerial duels, being third from top in this stat while Brighton are rock-bottom. Therefore, playing high balls and contesting the ball in the air or looking for knockdowns could be advantageous. Cresswell’s delivery from set pieces is also a weapon.
Brighton’s form has indeed regressed in recent matches, whereas West Ham have seen some improvement. However, the fact remains that Brighton have superior players and a much more progressive coach (Moyes is very old-school, and his first thoughts are defensive and negative). Allied with the fact that West Ham have only won away once all season and Brighton’s excellent record against them, it is apparent that this match is a bad fit for the London club.
Hence, Brighton will likely control this game, and if they play anywhere near their capabilities, they should be winning. The Seagulls will probably create several chances against a West Ham side with the best defensive record in the bottom half, but still far from good (29 conceded in 24). In addition, West Ham don’t carry enough threat or score enough goals. While Brighton have conceded an equal number to the Hammers, this is because they are more positive and more attacking. We see them winning and keeping a clean sheet into the bargain.
Brighton 2-0 West Ham
Brighton vs West Ham Betting Tip – Brighton Odds:
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