West Ham vs Brighton preview: Cresswell, Connolly available

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of West Ham vs Brighton in the Premier League on Wednesday; kick-off 7.30pm.

Team news

West Ham hope to have defender Aaron Cresswell available for the Premier League match against Brighton on Wednesday night.

Full-back Cresswell picked up a back problem during Sunday’s defeat at Manchester City which saw him substituted during the second half, but has been able to resume training.

Defender Angelo Ogbonna is starting his rehabilitation from a long-term knee injury, which is set for surgery.

West Ham provisional squad: Fabianski, Cresswell, Zouma, Dawson, Masuaku, Johnson, Fornals, Soucek, Rice, Antonio, Benrahma, Areola, Coufal, Diop, Kral, Lanzini, Vlasic, Noble, Yarmolenko, Bowen.

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A preview of matchweek 14 in the Premier League as Newcastle host fellow strugglers Norwich, Everton face rivals Liverpool in the Merseyside derby and Arsenal travel to Manchester United

Aaron Connolly could make his return to the Brighton squad at the London Stadium.

The Republic of Ireland forward, absent for the Seagulls’ last four matches, has been recovering from a heel issue.

Forward Danny Welbeck (hamstring) and midfielder Steven Alzate (ankle) are expected to be training with the team again over the next couple of weeks.

Brighton provisional squad: Sanchez, Steele, Lamptey, Cucurella, Webster, Dunk, Duffy, Burn, Veltman, Bissouma, Mac Allister, Mwepu, Gross, Lallana, Moder, March, Richards, Connolly, Maupay, Trossard, Locadia, Sarmiento.

How to follow

Follow West Ham vs Brighton in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel after full-time.

Last time out…

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against West Ham in the Premier League

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brighton’s draw with Leeds in the Premier League

Jones Knows’ prediction

The last five meetings between these two have ended all square. It’s always a very tight, hard-fought encounter where fine margins are at play for the result.

West Ham have been priced up as the 19/20 favourites with Sky Bet which is screaming to be taken on.

Graham Potter’s team arrive without a win in eight matches, but six of those have been draws and their performance level remains high. In those eight matches, their expected goals against data have them as the seventh highest team in terms of defensive output and that can be upgraded as they have faced Liverpool and Manchester City during that run.

They might be fluffing their lines in forward areas due to a lack of quality, but Potter has got them hard to beat.

Added to that, West Ham seem to have lost their spark slightly. Flat in the defeat at Wolves, they hardly raised a glove, let alone landed any punches on Manchester City. A gruelling fixture list and lack of squad depth just may hold them back from mounting a serious top-four challenge. I think they will stumble here.

SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1

BETTING ANGLE: Brighton to win or draw (5/6 with Sky Bet)

Opta stats

  • Each of the last five Premier League meetings between West Ham and Brighton have finished level. Only two fixtures in the competition’s history have had longer runs of consecutive draws – Aston Villa vs West Ham (7 between 1998 and 2001) and Birmingham vs Liverpool (7 between 2005 and 2010).
  • Brighton have never lost in eight Premier League meetings with West Ham (W3 D5), the most a side has faced the Hammers without defeat in the competition.
  • West Ham are unbeaten in their last seven midweek (Tue, Wed, Thu) Premier League games (W4 D3), winning each of the last four in a row. The Hammers had lost nine of their previous 11 such games prior to this run (W2).
  • Having failed to win any of their first 11 Premier League games played on Wednesdays (D6 L5), Brighton won their last such match on this day, beating Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield in February.
  • Brighton have scored 25 goals in their 24 Premier League games away against London sides, with 40% of these coming in their four visits to West Ham (10/25).

Premier League Review: Was Carrick right to drop Ronaldo? Pressure on Rafa ahead of derby, Howe’s problems and title tips

On the latest Essential Football Podcast, Alice Piper is joined by Sky Sports football writers Gerard Brand and Ben Grounds to look back on another big weekend at both ends of the Premier League table after Chelsea’s lead slipped following a 1-1 draw with Man Utd at Stamford Bridge.

PART 1 | Was Michael Carrick right to opt against starting Cristiano Ronaldo – and should United have signed him at all? United’s interim-to-the-interim manager’s tactics are assessed ahead of Ralf Rangnick’s arrival, questions are raised over Chelsea’s attacking prowess and will Arsenal fancy facing this United side next given their own form?

PART 2 | Where does another bad result at Brentford leave Everton boss Rafa Benitez ahead of the Merseyside derby in midweek? Do Liverpool have anything to fear? And the curious case of Marcelo Bielsa and Kalvin Phillips…

PART 3 | Newcastle show Eddie Howe the scale of the task ahead of him with a six-pointer against Norwich next up, Aston Villa grind their way to victory again – and with two points separating the top three, who’s going to win the Premier League?

Source : Sky Sports