West Ham vs Brighton Preview: Can The Hammers Break The Curse?
West Ham host Brighton and Hove Albion at the London Stadium on Sunday as they hope to break their curse against the Seagulls. The Hammers are yet to beat Brighton in all 10 fixtures since they were promoted to the Premier League in 2017/18, with their last victory coming in a 6-0 win at Upton Park in April 2012.
Brighton have started the 22/23 Premier League season very well with a 2-1 victory away to Manchester United on the opening day and an unlucky 0-0 draw at home to Newcastle last weekend. The same can't be said for West Ham who have lost both games in the League so far, to Manchester City and Nottingham Forest, 2-0 and 1-0 respectively. However, it isn't all negative for West Ham as they earned a 3-1 victory over Danish side Viborg in the Europa Conference League on Thursday night.
West Ham are set to be without long-term absentee Nayef Aguerd, who is out with an ankle injury. Also, this game comes too soon for Craig Dawson who is nearing recovery from a thigh injury.
There is also some good news, Angelo Ogbonna made his first start in almost a year on Thursday after a serious ACL injury and is in contention to play on Sunday. However, new signing Thilo Kehrer is expected to partner Kurt Zouma in the heart of the defence. Gianluca Scamacca scored his first goal for the Hammers on Thursday but will be eased into the Premier League side according to David Moyes.
Predicted West Ham XI: Fabianski, Johnson, Kehrer, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma, Antonio. (4-2-3-1)
Brighton only have one player out injured, Jakob Moder who suffered a cruciate ligament rupture at the end of last season is expected to have an extended period on the sidelines. They are likely going to continue with the same team that played so well against both Manchester United and Newcastle. Moises Caicedo has been linked with a move to both Liverpool and United but is still expected to start in London on Sunday. New signing Pervis Estupinan has been training but is unlikely to start in this fixture.
Predicted Brighton XI: Sanchez, Webster, Dunk, Veltman, Trossard, Caicedo, Mac Allister, Trossard, Lallana, Gross, Welbeck, (3-4-3)