Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United
Premier League, Amex Stadium, Sunday 22 May 2022, 4pm BST
West Ham United's memorable 2021/22 season comes to a conclusion on the south coast this Sunday afternoon.
Brighton & Hove Albion play host to the Hammers in a match that means much to both teams. For the Irons, a win would secure UEFA Europa League football should Manchester United fail to beat Crystal Palace. For the Seagulls, a record-high finish has already been secured, but Brighton could also climb into the top ten if results go their way.
The Irons sit seventh in the Premier League table going into the weekend, with 56 points from 37 matches played, and have already secured qualification to next season's UEFA Europa Conference League play-off round. However, a second straight top-six finish and another go at the Europa League are still within reach.
David Moyes’ men head into the final weekend of the season on the back of a superb draw with title-chasing Manchester City at London Stadium last time out and a 4-0 win at Norwich City the weekend prior.
Graham Potter's side are also in confident form, having thumped Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United in recent weeks, but they did concede a last-minute equaliser to draw 1-1 at Leeds United last weekend.
The reverse fixture at London Stadium, played at the start of December, ended in a 1-1 draw, with Tomáš Souček's early opener cancelled out by Neal Maupay's equaliser a minute from full-time.
West Ham, infamously, have never beaten Brighton in nine previous Premier League meetings, but a win at the Amex Stadium on Sunday would not just end that run, but could secure an historic second straight sixth-place finish.
The Hammers have never before finished in the top six in consecutive seasons, with the closest being the eighth and fifth Harry Redknapp's team achieved in 1997/98 and 1998/99. This will also be the first time West Ham have achieved a positive goal-difference in consecutive top-flight seasons since 1982/83 and 1983/84.
The first 90% of our allocation of 3,000 tickets sold out to Bondholders and Season Ticket Holders with 42+ Loyalty Points. A ballot was then held for the remaining 10% (300 tickets), open to Season Ticket Holders who had yet to purchase for this fixture.
If you are travelling to the Amex Stadium, click here to read our Over Land and Sea supporters' guide.
How can I follow the game?
Kick-off on Sunday is 4pm BST, but the game is NOT being broadcast live on television in the UK. Please check your local TV listings if you live outside the UK.
West Ham United captain Mark Noble will make the 550th and final appearance of his career for the Club on Sunday, should he feature.
The Irons will be without centre-back Angelo Ogbonna (knee), while winger Saïd Benrahma, who suffered an ankle injury in the 4-0 win at Norwich City a fortnight ago, missed the 1-1 draw with Manchester City last weekend.
Brighton & Hove Albion will be without defensive midfielder Tudor Baluta (ankle), Jakub Moder (knee), Enock Mwepu (groin) and attacking midfilder Jeremy Sarmiento (thigh).
The opposition – Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton & Hove Albion are enjoying one of the best season's in the Sussex club's 121-year history.
Of course, Seagulls supporters may point to promotion-winning campaigns, the run to the 1983 FA Cup final and the miraculous escape from relegation out of the Football League in 1997, but 2021/22 has given the Brighton faithful plenty to be happy about.
With one game to play, Brighton's attractive and enterprising team is on course to secure a record-high league finish, eclipsing the 13th place achieved under manager Mike Bailey in the old First Division in 1981/82.
Forty years on and it is Graham Potter in the manager's hot seat, and the former England U21 left-back and Östersund and Swansea City boss has enhanced his already promising reputation since arriving at the club in 2019.
Potters' Brighton reached 41 points in each of the previous two seasons, but the Seagulls have already soared past that mark, and a win over West Ham United would see them reach 51 and, most likely, finish in the top ten for the first time.
West Ham United have infamously never beaten Brighton & Hove Albion in nine Premier League meetings between the two.
Brighton won the first three, while the last six have all ended in draws!
In 13 top-flight meetings, West Ham have recorded just one victory. Tony Cottee and Alan Dickens scored in a 2-1 First Division win at the Boleyn Ground in March 1983
West Ham's most-recent win over Brighton was a 6-0 win at the Boleyn Ground in the Championship in April 2012, in which Ricardo Vaz Tê scored a hat-trick.
The reverse fixture that season was West Ham's first visit to the Amex Stadium and also ended in victory, 1-0, courtesy of Kevin Nolan's goal.
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistant Referees: Matthew Wilkes & Steve Meredith
Fourth Official: Andy Davies
VAR: Simon Hooper
Assistant VAR: Simon Beck
Sunday's match referee will be Kevin Friend.
Born in Bristol but brought up and now based in Leicester, Friend celebrated his 50th birthday in July 2021.
After working his way up through the Leicestershire Senior League and Midland Football Alliance, Friend joined the National List and then the Select Group of Premier League referees in 2009.
He has since taken charge of a host of high-profile matches, including the 2012 FA Community Shield, 2013 League Cup final and 2019 FA Cup final, all of which were held at Wembley Stadium.
Friend has refereed West Ham United on 25 occasions previously, with the first being the 5-0 Championship win over Plymouth Argyle at the Boleyn Ground in February 2005.
His first Premier League appointment involving the Hammers was a 0-0 home draw with Blackpool in November 2010, while his most-recent was the 3-2 home defeat by Southampton at London Stadium on Boxing Day.