West Ham United are expected to be back in their striking black away kit for tonight’s must-win game at Brighton.

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The omens and statistics are good.

The all black – with gold detailing – third kit has been a massive hit with West Ham fans this season.

It has proved popular with the players too. West Ham have won eight away games in the Premier League this season. Many of those have come when wearing the black kit.

Burnley v West Ham United - Premier League
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Put it all on black

In fact they have never won this many matches – 17 – in a Premier League season full stop.

Many West Ham fans may just write the team’s success in the black kit off as a coincidence.

But historically West Ham have tended to have more successful seasons when their away kits are one strong colour.

And research shows it’s no fluke.

Strong or striking one colour kits are believed to give teams an advantage when it comes to the split second decision-making at the top level of the game.

Aston Villa v West Ham United - Premier League
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No coincidence as research shows the same dominant one colour kits are the most successful across sport

A player can more easily identify a teammate or his run out of the corner of their eye.

And those fractions of seconds over the course of a match and season can make a big difference.

Statistics in past research show that all red kits give teams the best chance of success followed by all white, all blue and then all black (Gola and Shortlist.com).

 

Remarkably those four dominant strip colours are broadly the same across many major sports from American football to basketball, ice hockey and baseball (Gola and Shortlist.com).

FBL-ENG-PR-CRYSTAL PALACE-WEST HAM
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Back in black for Brighton and hopes are high

In 2015/16 West Ham had a very dark one colour kit (dark purple/navy) and recorded their highest ever Prem points total.

West Ham have finished comfortably in midtable with white away kits since.

When West Ham finished fifth in 98/99? You guessed it all white away kit.

So there you have it West Ham fans.

The team’s success this season in that popular black kit is not necessarily just a coincidence.

And with the Hammers set to wear it again for tonight’s must-win clash with the Seagulls, hopes will be high.

Perhaps Umbro and West Ham need to consider these facts when designing future kits.

If they look great AND help the team then it’s a no-brainer.

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