Saïd Benrahma prepared for Neal Maupay reunion
Saïd Benrahma is will celebrate his first Premier League Christmas by meeting a very familiar face at London Stadium on Sunday.
West Ham United’s Algerian winger experienced Yuletide football in each of the previous two seasons with Championship club Brentford, featuring in the Bees’ Boxing Day draw at Bristol City in 2018 and a 3-1 home win over Swansea City in 2019.
After joining the Hammers in October, Benrahma is now preparing for a home game with Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday 27 December, when he will come up against a player who scored in that draw at Bristol City and starred alongside Benrahma before moving to Brighton in the summer of 2019, French striker Neal Maupay.
“Neal helped me a lot when I was with him at Brentford and I’m looking forward to seeing him when we play Brighton on Sunday,” he said.
But, as is always the case in football, and despite this being the time of year known for giving, there will be no room for sentiment when Benrahma takes to the pitch against his old friend.
“I try to prepare for every game in the same way and I’m not sure I’ll be preparing for a game against in Brighton, but for sure we want to win and give our supporters something to be happy about,” he confirmed.
Following Sunday’s home game with Brighton, West Ham have two testing away games at Southampton on Tuesday 29 December and Everton on New Year’s Day.
Some players might be intimidated by such a fixture list, but not the confident Benrahma, who says he has settled quickly into life in the Premier League after two seasons in the Championship.
“I haven’t noticed that much of a difference between the Premier League and the Championship, actually,” he observed. “In the Premier League, teams are a bit better organised, but apart from that I haven’t noticed too much of a difference.”
Benrahma and the Irons kicked-off the post-Christmas round of fixtures tenth in the table, with 21 points from 14 games, while the Seagulls are 17th with 12 points, just two above Fulham in the final relegation position. However, those positions may have changed by kick-off at 2.15pm on Sunday afternoon.
Following the Government’s announcement that London is now in Tier 4 of COVID-19 restrictions, supporters will regrettably no longer be able to attend this game. Following the move of London into Tier 4, all sporting events held in the capital will continue to be played without supporters present until further notice.
The match will be shown live in the UK by Sky Sports and across the world by the Premier League’s international broadcast partners, meaning our fans will be able to follow the action, safely, from home.