Tuesday 30 Nov
Updated Tuesday 30 Nov 15:47
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West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion - All You Need To Know

West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion - All You Need To Know

 

West Ham United kick-off a busy December with the visit of Brighton & Hove Albion to London Stadium in the Premier League on Wednesday evening.

The Irons welcome the Seagulls to Stratford for the first of nine matches to be played in the final month of 2021, seeking to bounce back to winning ways in the Premier League.

David Moyes’ sandwiched a UEFA Europa League Group H win at Rapid Vienna with successive Premier League defeats on the road at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City - the first time the Hammers have lost back-to-back Premier League fixtures since April.

Despite those setbacks, West Ham sit fourth after 13 matches with 23 points and are one of just four Premier League clubs with a positive goal difference.

Brighton, meanwhile, are ninth with 18 points, but have failed to win any of their previous eight Premier League matches, drawing six and losing two.

West Ham have famously never beaten the Sussex side in the Premier League, losing the first three meetings before drawing five in a row, including both games last season - 2-2 at London Stadium in December and 1-1 at the Amex Stadium in May.

 

Rainbow Laces

Rainbow Laces

 

West Ham United will be marking Rainbow Laces in partnership with the Premier League and LGBT+ inclusion charity Stonewall.

We will ensure everyone within and all those connected with our Club, including supporters, feel safe and welcome, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.

To find out more about how the Club is promoting equality and diversity, click here.

 

How to follow

Wednesday's kick-off is at 7.30pm GMT. The game is being shown live in the UK by Amazon Prime Video.

If you live overseas you might be able to watch the game live, and broadcast listings in your territory can be found here.

We will also be covering the game live with a blog and audio commentary on whufc.com and our Official App and across our social media channels, with goals, highlights and exclusive reaction to follow after the final whistle.

 

Team News

 

David Moyes is hopeful Aaron Cresswell will recover from the back injury he suffered when colliding with the goal post at Manchester City on Sunday in time for Wednesday's game.

Again, the Scot is likely to only be without Angelo Ogbonna, who is continuing his rehabilitation after undergoing surgery on a cruciate knee ligament injury.

 

Aaron Cresswell

 

Brighton boss Graham Potter could recall Irish centre-back Shane Duffy and Zambian midfielder Enock Mwepu to his starting XI after both were left out at home to Leeds United on Saturday.

Midfielder Adam Lallana and winger Solly March could also be handed starts as Potter seeks a first victory since defeating Leicester City 2-1 at home on 19 September.

Striker Danny Welbeck (hamstring) and midfielder Steven Alzate (ankle) remain on the sidelines.

 

The Opposition

For such a well-run, stable football club, there is a certain irony that Brighton & Hove Albion is owned by a man who initially made his fortune in gambling.

Local entrepreneur and lifelong Brighton supporter Tony Bloom initially came to prominence playing poker, before reportedly increasing his wealth by running his own gambling consultancy.

A former City trader, Bloom has used his mathematical skills to make money – lots of money – wherever he has been and, since initially investing in the club in 2000 and taking ownership in May 2009, has spent a fair amount of it building Brighton into a Premier League football club.

Bloom, whose grandfather Harry served as the club’s vice-chairman in the 1970s and uncle Ray has been one of the club’s directors since the 1980s, personally financed the building of Brighton’s smart, modern stadium and state-of-the-art elite football performance centre, which opened in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

 

Tony Bloom

 

Bloom has also built Brighton into a successful side on the pitch, too.

When he took charge 12-and-a-half years ago, Brighton had just finished 16th in EFL League One, with only a late-season surge securing safety on the final day of the 2008/09 season.

Two years later, under the management of Gus Poyet and fired by the goals of West Ham United nemesis Glenn Murray, the Seagulls soared to the League One title and promotion to the Championship.

Six seasons and a succession of near misses – including three Play-Off semi-final defeats – later, Brighton famously won promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 2017.

Since then, the Seagulls have flown lower than Bloom would have liked in the Premier League table, never finishing higher than 15th in each of the previous four seasons but, considering the level of competition at this level, staying up for five years is a considerable achievement.

 

Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard celebrate

 

There are now real signs that Brighton are ready to take the next step and challenge seriously for a top-half finish under their well-respected head coach Graham Potter.

Like his Chairman, the 46-year-old is a shrewd and considered character who completed an MA in leadership and emotional intelligence at Leeds Metropolitan University before spending seven successful years leading little-known Östersunds FK from the Swedish fourth tier to the UEFA Europa League.

After a short stint with Swansea City, Potter arrived in Sussex in May 2019 and, working with Bloom, has assembled an exciting, versatile squad and installed a philosophy of attractive, possession-based football.

It might not bring Brighton football’s equivalent of a Royal Flush, but with Bloom and Potter calling the shots, the Seagulls have certainly earned their seat at English football’s top table.

 

Previous Meetings

 

West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion meet in the Premier League for the ninth time on Wednesday evening.

The Hammers are still seeking their first Premier League win over the Seagulls, having lost the first three meetings and drawn the last five, with all eight matches taking place over the previous four seasons.

The most-recent meeting ended in a 1-1 at the Amex Stadium, where Saïd Benrahma's late long-range strike secured an important point in the Londoners' quest for European qualification.

 

Said Benrahma celebrates

 

The home game here last December ended 2-2, when Neal Maupay and Lewis Dunk twice put Graham Potter's side in front, before Ben Johnson - with his first senior goal - and a late Tomáš Souček equaliser secured a share of the spoils.

David Moyes has faced Brighton just four times in his long managerial career, and is also still seeking his first victory.

West Ham's last win over Brighton came in April 2012, when a Ricardo Vaz Te hat-trick saw off the Seagulls 6-0 at the Boleyn Ground. Current first-team coach Kevin Nolan scored the winner in the reverse fixture that season at the Amex Stadium in October 2011.

 

Match Officials

 

Referee Chris Kavanagh

 

Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistant Referees: Dan Cook & Daniel Robathan
Fourth Official: Andre Marriner
VAR: Jarred Gillett
Assistant VAR: Neil Davies

A member of the Manchester Football Association, 36-year-old Chris Kavanagh will take charge of his 300th match as a professional referee on Wednesday evening.

Born in Manchester in 1985, Kavanagh was 13 when he began his refereeing career, moving up through the non-league pyramid to the National League in 2012, aged 27.

Kavanagh was promoted to the Football League in 2014 before refereeing his first Premier League fixture between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton in April 2017.

In all, Kavanagh has refereed nearly 299 matches, including 93 Premier League games, seven European fixtures and eight full internationals.

Kavanagh’s first West Ham United appointment was a FA Cup fourth-round defeat at Wigan Athletic in January 2018. Since then, he has taken charge of 12 Premier League fixtures featuring the Hammers, with the most recent being the 4-1 victory at Aston Villa in October this year.

He refereed the 2-2 draw with Brighton here on 2 January 2019, too.

 

Brighton General Sale