Saturday 17 August: 3pm KO
These two clubs made very different starts to the new Premier League season. Brighton went to Watford and returned home with a 3-0 win. Big spending West Ham saw those bubbles fade and die as they lost 5-0 at home to Manchester City. Brighton will hope to get another win in their first home game of the season. The Hammers will hope to avoid yet another slow start to the season.
The last five months have been worrying ones for Brighton and Hove Albion. Their dreams of an FA Cup final were ended by Manchester City. Then they went on a terrible run in the Premier League where for a while, they couldn’t even buy a goal. Thankfully, they survived relegation, more because of the weakness of the bottom three than their own achievements. Then straight after that, Brighton sacked their head coach Chris Hughton.
Brighton replaced Hughton with Swansea City’s Graham Potter. He’d done well in Wales but hadn’t managed in the Premier League. Transfer dealings were a bit of a worry too with Bruno retiring and talk of Lewis Dunk leaving. The final couple of weeks of the transfer window were promising though with Neal Maupay, Adam Webster and Aaron Mooy among the players joining with no major departures.
Many (including this writer) have tipped Brighton to again be in relegation trouble this season. The odds on them going down are 3/1 (4.0) at Bet365. Then came their first league game of the season away at Watford. That’s just how last season began when losing 2-0. This time around, it was a totally different story with the Seagulls returning to the south coast with a 3-0 win.
Now they have to build on that win and home form was a problem last season. Their last nine home league games last season produced just five points. Their only win being a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town who finished bottom of the table. That kind of form must be improved this season if they want to stay out of relegation trouble. You can get odds of 8/5 (2.6) at Unibet on them beating West Ham this Saturday.
West Ham have had their usual summer of making big signings. They continually chop and change their team and the owners talk of future success. Then they make a slow start and spend the rest of the season playing catch-up.
This summer was no exception and neither was the start they made to the new season. They lost 5-0 to Manchester City and another poor start could be on the cards. New signings such as Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals hopefully for them won’t take too long to settle in and start producing the goods. Haller is 15/8 (2.87) to score in this game if your wager is placed with Betfred.
A trio of games against Brighton, Watford and Norwich City must surely provide them with a few points. If not, then another season playing catch-up looks possible for the frustrating Hammers. Their away form isn’t that great though. They only won two of their last ten away league games last season.
Those two wins just happened to be their last couple of the season. It’s 2/1 (3.0) at BetVictor that they beat Brighton to make it a hat-trick of victories in the Premier League. That’s something they have only achieved twice in the past 12 years.
Brighton and Hove Albion have won three of the four games played against West Ham since winning promotion. West Ham last beat Brighton away in 1991, so they have never won at their new AMEX Stadium. Four of the last five games played between these two club have had over 2.5 goals scored in them. It’s 1/1 (2.0) at William Hil that stat comes up on Saturday.
In a major shock (not really), Jack Wilshere is doubtful for this game. He had to be substituted in West Ham’s loss to Manchester CIty. Felipe Anderson also went off but is expected to be fit for this match. Brighton may give Neil Maupay a full debut. He came on as sub against Watford and scored his first goal for the club. The odds on Maupay getting on the scoresheet in this match are 6/4 (2.5) at Betfair.
It’ll be interesting to see how Brighton get on in this game. The pressure will be on them to perform well after last weekend’s win. The same goes for West Ham who daren’t start the season with two defeats. A draw with both teams scoring has odds of 16/5 (4.2) at Paddy Power.