West Ham United will be aiming to continue their excellent form when they face Brighton & Hove Albion in a couple of hours time.
Following a disastrous start to the season, the Hammers have managed to get their season back on track. Indeed, they are currently unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions, three of which they have won, including an impressive 3-1 victory against Manchester United last weekend.
As for Brighton, they are in desperate need of a win given their last victory came against Manchester United back in August. And on the flip side, a defeat this weekend could put them at risk of being dragged down into the relegation scrap, making this a vital fixture for the Seagulls.
West Ham United will be missing the services of Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll, all of whom are sidelined with injuries alongside Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanchez.
Javier Hernandez also remains a doubt but might feature on the bench.
PREDICTED WEST HAM UNITED LINEUP VS BRIGHTON
Lukasz Fabianski will once again start in goal for West Ham, ahead of Adrian. The Polish international will be looking for his second clean sheet of the season.
Coach Manuel Pellegrini is unlikely to make any changes from the side that won against Manchester United last weekend, meaning Fabian Balbuena will retain his place in central defence alongside fellow new signing Issa Diop. Balbuena, in particular, has become a key player for the Hammers this season, recording the most number of interceptions in the team.
Pablo Zabaleta will once again be given the nod ahead of Ryan Fredericks as the right back with Arthur Masuaku starting on the opposite flank.
Declan Rice will line up as the lone defensive midfielder in West Ham’s 4-1-2-3. The young midfielder has been excellent in the past few matches and has been averaging over two interceptions, tackles and clearances this season, making him a vital part of the West Ham setup.
Rice will be partnered by Pedro Obiang and the experienced Mark Noble in slightly advanced positions. Noble was excellent in the win over Manchester United, providing the assist for Marko Arnautovic’s third goal whilst maintain a remarkable pass accuracy of 87%.
Pellegrini will deploy the dangerous attacking trio of Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Marko Arnautovic upfront. The latter will lead Hammers’ attacking line, having tormented the United backline in the last game. Pellegrini had talked about a little niggle in the former Stoke City star’s knee but did not cast aspersions on his chances of starting.
Anderson will also play a key role in the final third, thanks to his intelligence and positional sense while Yarmolenko’s ability to skip through opposing defenders will hand the visitors an extra dimension in attack.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored