West Ham United will hope that home comforts can once again prove pivotal when they welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to east London for Friday’s fixture from the Premier League.
Slaven Bilic’s side have struggled to find their best form so far this season, but the Hammers have won three of their four fixtures on their own patch this term – indeed, West Ham have kept a clean sheet in each of those wins, with Tottenham Hotspur the only opposition side to have scored a goal against the hosts at London Stadium so far this season.
The Hammers are chalked up as bet365’s 4/5 (1.80) favourites to maintain their fine form on home soil with a win in this one, while the same firm go 15/8 (2.88) that Bilic’s team lead at both half time and full time against a Brighton side that has struggled badly on their travels.
Indeed, Chris Hughton’s men have scored just one goal in five matches away from home so far this season – in a 2-1 defeat against AFC Bournemouth – and the Seagulls will need to step up a gear if they are to stand any chance of halting that dismal run of away results against the Hammers.
bet365 go 18/5 (4.60) that the visitors pick up their first Premier League away win of the season, while the same firm offer 5/2 (3.50) that Brighton settle for a share of the spoils for a second successive match, having been held at home by Everton last weekend.
Goals have proven hard to come by in Brighton’s matches so far this season; indeed, there have been fewer than three goals scored in eight of the 10 matches that Hughton’s team have contested in all competitions.
As such, bet365’s 4/6 (1.67) quote for fewer than three goals to be scored may well prove popular with punters, while the same firm offer 3/4 (1.75) that either team fails to find the net – a selection that would have landed in four of Albion’s five away fixtures so far, as well as in all but one of the Hammers’ four games on home soil.
Those anticipating a tight, tense tussle may be tempted by bet365’s 2/1 (3.0) quote for fewer than two goals to be scored here, but better value may lie in backing the Hammers to win without conceding at 7/4 (2.75) with bet365.
Remarkably, that particular play would have paid dividends in no fewer than 12 of West Ham’s last 13 competitive home wins – a sequence of results that stretches back to the start of last season.