Both in contention for European qualification once more, we look ahead to Tuesday night’s Premier League clash at London Stadium with our West Ham vs Brighton prediction and preview.
West Ham vs Brighton Stats: The Quick Hits
- West Ham are tipped to beat Brighton, with the Opta supercomputer predicting a Hammers win in 40.1% of simulations.
- However, Brighton are unbeaten in their last six away league games against West Ham.
- West Ham won the reverse fixture against Brighton on the south coast in August, ending a 12-game winless league run against the Seagulls.
West Ham United will welcome fellow European contenders Brighton and Hove Albion to celebrate the new year as the pair meet on Tuesday at London Stadium after two equally impressive Premier League results on Matchday 19.
David Moyes managed his first ever away win against Arsenal in all competitions at the 23rd attempt on Thursday as West Ham recorded an unlikely 2-0 victory over Mikel Arteta’s title contenders. Tomás Soucek scored a contentious 13th-minute opener, with referee Michael Oliver and the VAR allowing the goal to stand despite claims the ball had gone out from Jarrod Bowen’s assist – a similar decision to the one Arsenal questioned at Newcastle United earlier in the season – before Konstantinos Mavropanos crashed in a fine second-half header to secure all three points.
There was still time at Emirates Stadium for former Hammer Declan Rice to concede a 96th-minute penalty that David Raya saved well from Saïd Benrahma as West Ham – whose late spot-kick miss mattered for little – surged up to sixth in the league table heading into the next round of top-flight fixtures. It was not all positive news in north London, though, as Lucas Paquetá limped off with a first-half hamstring injury, while Nayef Aguerd, Kurt Zouma and Michail Antonio remain absent from Moyes’ lineup.
Paquetá will be a huge miss given the Brazilian has been involved in five goals in his last four Premier League home games – as many as in his first 21 appearances at London Stadium (two goals, three assists) – after scoring against Nottingham Forest, assisting once versus Wolves and setting up three as the midfielder tore Manchester United apart.
Meanwhile, the latest news suggests that Moyes is likely to be without Ghana’s Mohammed Kudus due to his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts in Ivory Coast on 13 January. It had been expected that this would be his last game before departing for the tournament, but Ghanian manager Chris Hughton requested he joined up with the squad earlier than planned. Kudus’ nine home goals in all competitions are more than any other club team-mate this season, while the last West Ham player to score 10+ home goals in their first season was Teddy Sheringham in 2004-05.
As if denting one north London club’s title hopes was not enough for West Ham, Brighton dealt a similarly impressive blow to Tottenham Hotspur’s early-season top-four chances with a convincing 4-2 victory over Ange Postecoglou’s men at Amex Stadium on Thursday. João Pedro was twice on target from the penalty spot, along with a fine Jack Hinshelwood strike and Pervis Estupiñán’s long-range screamer, as late goals from Alejo Véliz and Ben Davies proved irrelevant.
João Pedro is becoming the ever-reliant figure from 12 yards for the south-coast club. He has scored all eight of the penalties he’s taken for Brighton this season after twice sending Guglielmo Vicario the wrong way on MD 19, while he’s netted more from the spot than any other player across Europe’s big five leagues in all competitions in 2023-24.
Looking ahead to Tuesday, Roberto De Zerbi’s side, who are eighth in the league table after MD 19, would leapfrog West Ham with a victory at London Stadium, while Brighton are just six points behind Tottenham in fifth – a position that could be enough for UEFA Champions League qualification depending how other English sides fare in Europe this term.
Brighton manager De Zerbi still has a plethora of injury issues mounting, however, with Solly March, Tariq Lamptey, Adam Webster, Simon Adingra, Kauro Mitoma, Joël Veltman, Julio Enciso and Ansu Fati out, while captain Lewis Dunk will serve a one-match suspension after racking up five yellow cards this league campaign. The Seagulls can call upon Danny Welbeck, though, and the striker has scored more Premier League goals against West Ham than he has against any other opponent (six) – but five of his six strikes against them have come in home games.
If James Milner plays some part in this match, he’s make his 632nd appearance in the Premier League, moving him level in joint-second with Ryan Giggs in the all-time competition rankings for the most Premier League appearances by players. Gareth Barry still leads the way on 653 apps, a record that Milner could still go on to break. This match will also mean that Milner will play a Premier League match in a 23rd consecutive calendar year, if he’s selected.
West Ham vs Brighton Head-to-Head
West Ham won the reverse fixture against Brighton 3-1 in August, ending a 12-game winless league run against the Seagulls (D6 L6) as James Ward-Prowse, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio proved Pascal Groß’s strike irrelevant.
Yet since a 6-0 loss in the Championship in April 2012, Brighton are unbeaten in their last six away league games against West Ham (W2 D4), who last did the league double over them in 2011-12 but they’ve never done so in the English top flight.
That run without a league double is down to the fact West Ham have struggled in defence against De Zerbi’s side, conceding at least once in all 13 of their Premier League games against Brighton – the most they’ve faced a side without ever keeping a clean sheet in the competition.
Home comforts have been aplenty in recent weeks with West Ham winning all of their last three London Stadium games in all competitions, against Man Utd, Wolves and SC Freiburg (in the UEFA Europa League), by an aggregate score of 7-0.
West Ham supporters would have to look all the way back to October/November 1994 for the last time their side won four in a row on home soil without conceding within the same season (a five-game run), although Moyes’ men may fancy their chances against an unconvincing Brighton defence.
Brighton have kept just three away clean sheets in the Premier League since the start of last season, beating West Ham 2-0 in August 2022, Bournemouth 2-0 in April 2023 and Arsenal 3-0 in May 2023.
However, they’ve also only failed to score twice themselves in this run (0-2 v Brentford October 2022, 0-2 v Arsenal December this season) – expect a goal-laden encounter on Monday at London Stadium.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off in this match, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
West Ham vs Brighton Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
West Ham United
Jarrod Bowen: 78.6 (out of 100)
Mohammed Kudus: 78.3
James Ward-Prowse: 74.9
Kurt Zouma: 66.5
Brighton & Hove Albion
Pascal Groß: 79.8 (out of 100)
Evan Ferguson: 75.1
Billy Gilmour: 74.3
Jan Paul van Hecke: 71.2
Igor Julio: 70.5
West Ham vs Brighton Prediction
The Opta supercomputer predicts a tight clash at London Stadium, with West Ham winning 40.1% of 10,000 data-powered simulations compared to Brighton triumphing in 31.5%.
With little to separate these two teams, the data model backs a draw in 28.4% of scenarios prior to kick-off, but Moyes will fancy capitalising on an impressive end to 2023.
West Ham are 18 points ahead of where they were at this stage last campaign, reflecting in a top-six finish in the league standings across 44.8% of Opta season simulations this term, while Brighton’s most likely league-table position ranks as seventh – one place higher than their current standing – in 20.6%.