Brighton take on West Ham in the Premier League on Friday night and the Hammers are in hot form.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men have bounced back after four Premier League losses in a row. They have now won two of their last three in the league, against Everton and Manchester United, and drawn with Chelsea.

But after losing both games against Brighton last season, West Ham have a bit of a nemesis to deal with.

Here are three key duels that could decide the outcome of Friday’s game.

Masuaku vs. Knockaert

Anthony Knockaert likes to cut inside from the right wing and use his left foot. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Anthony Knockaert is arguably Brighton’s best player. The Frenchman has a lot of skill and loves to cut inside onto his left foot.

Equally, Arthur Masuaku is perhaps the weak link in this West Ham team. Knockaert will definitely be targeting his fellow countryman on Friday.

But it is not just about halting Knockaert’s attacks. Masuaku loves to get forward himself so can Knockaert track back and stem the flow down West Ham’s left flank?

Diop vs. Murray

Brighton striker Glenn Murray has as many goals as Marko Arnautovic this season. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Issa Diop has been exceptional for West Ham this season. The 21-year-old, who stands at 6ft 4in tall, is dominant in the air and a strong tackler.


After dealing with Cenk Tosun, Olivier Giroud and Romelu Lukaku in recent weeks, he faces a different challenge.

Glenn Murray already has four goals this season for Brighton and seems to get better with age.

The 35-year-old is a clever striker and it won’t be an easy afternoon for West Ham’s young defender.

Arnautovic vs. Duffy

Brighton defender Shane Duffy is an aerial threat at both ends of the pitch. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Marko Arnautovic also has four goals this season, although he has played a game less than Murray.

The Austrian international is a handful for any defender to deal with, given his power, pace and technical skill.

West Ham’s attacks will flow through Arnie and Shane Duffy will have to be on his best form to keep him quiet.

Down the other end, can West Ham handle Duffy’s aerial presence? The Republic of Ireland international has already scored two goals this season.

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