West Ham travel to Brighton tomorrow night, looking to make it ten points from a possible twelve since the last international break.
The Seagulls have won just once all season, but that was a famous, thrilling 3-2 home win over Manchester United.
To get the lowdown on Chris Hughton’s side, we spoke to Scott McCarthy from WeAreBrighton.com.
Read on for Brighton’s weak spot, Carlos Tevez, the Grand National and more…
Where can Brighton hurt West Ham?
That largely depends on if Pascal Gross is fit. If he is, then the Albion will try and get the German on the ball as much as possible to try and create something for Glenn Murray.
If Gross isn’t fit, then our best option will probably be to go down the flanks. Anthony Knockaert has been in much better form this season and Jose Izquierdo is also returning to full fitness.
He hasn’t started a game since returning from the World Cup, but given the fact that he seems to love playing West Ham it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him replace Solly March on the left. Two wingers firing in crosses for Murray could cause real problems.
Where can West Ham hurt Brighton?
We’ve conceded two goals in all but one of our seven Premier League games so far. Lewis Dunk has looked incredibly ropey since being rushed back from an injury he picked up in the win over Manchester United; and we seem to have a real weakness at left back.
Bernardo was signed for £9m from Red Bull Leipzig but Chris Hughton has discarded him after a disastrous debut at Watford and Gaetan Bong is a real weak link at left back. If you attack us, chances are you’ll get goals.
You beat West Ham home and away last season and have a good record against the club in general; do you think you may be something of a bogey team?
I’m not sure about a bogey team. At the London Stadium, our best away performance of the season coincided with what I assume must have been West Ham’s worst home performance. Last season apart, our games with West Ham tend to be painful memories.
I’m still scarred by Kerry Mayo trying to mark Carlos Tevez in our 3-0 FA Cup visit in 2007 and as for our last visit to the Boleyn Ground; well, I walked out after 20 minutes with us already 3-0 down in favour of watching the Grand National in the pub.
A 6-0 defeat and my horse Synchronised losing his life made for a disastrous day.
What have you made of the new signings?
We haven’t actually seen many of them properly yet. Chris Hughton tends to be patient and wait until after the October international break to give them a proper run of games.
Only Martin Montoya at right back and Yves Bissouma in midfield have started more than one game and they’re only in because of injuries to Bruno and Gross.
The intriguing one is Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who we broke our club record to sign.
He’s looked relatively lively in a couple of cameos from the bench; but until Hughton gives the likes of him, Florin Andone and Bernardo a proper run of games, it’s hard to make a judgement as to whether we’ve spent wisely and or wasted £50m on a load of rubbish.
Do you think West Ham have turned the corner after the mini-revival?
It always takes a bit of time for a new manager and a rebuilt squad to bed in.
But I’m not going to lie, I did wonder whether Manuel Pellegrini was the right man for what is first and foremost a relegation battle; as it is for any side outside of the top six really.
Your recent results have been impressive though and I suspect it’s a bad time to be facing West Ham.
We’ve drawn 2-2 in our last two games against sides around us in the table so I’ll go for a hat-trick. 2-2 draw with Murray scoring for us.