For all the plaudits heaped on Brighton by pundits earlier in the season, they have struggled to turn positive performances into wins and find themselves very much in a relegation battle as a result. Graham Potter’s side have drawn six games this season – the most of any club in the Premier League – and have only won two of their 14 games to date.
Their struggles were epitomised in their 1-1 draw with Sheffield United before Christmas; Brighton could only muster a late equaliser against a side that had lost 12 of their first 13 league games and were playing with ten men for almost an hour.
West Ham, on the other hand, were perhaps unfortunate to lose so heavily against Chelsea but failed to create many clear-cut opportunities in a largely forgettable game.
The Hammers had picked up 13 points in their six games prior to that Chelsea defeat and also came within a whisker of taking points off Liverpool at Anfield. David Moyes has his doubters, but he has masterminded a much more comfortable season for West Ham so far and they should have too much for a struggling Brighton.
Brighton may be struggling to win games, but it is not for lack of trying. The Seagulls have the best goalscoring record of the bottom six and create several chances in every game they play. They lack an out and out goalscorer, but they still create enough chances to score at least once in most games that they play.
West Ham, meanwhile, have only failed to score at home on one occasion this season – against Newcastle on the first day of the season – and boast plenty of attacking quality. The Hammers have not been watertight at the back, however, and should present Brighton with at least a few clear-cut chances on Sunday.
It’s fair to say that Sebastien Haller has not lived up to his hefty price tag after joining from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019. The striker has scored just ten league goals for the Hammers since his big-money move 18 months ago, but there have been some positive signs in recent games, scoring two goals in his last six appearances to secure two vital results for West Ham.
He has scored a total of three league goals this season, which is nothing to write home about, but he should continue to lead the line in the absence of Michail Antonio and he seems to be playing with a lot more confidence in recent games. Sunday marks a great opportunity for him to improve upon his Premier League goal tally.
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