West Ham v Brighton predictions- How do the pundits reckon the Hammers will fare in their first game of 2019?

The London Stadium’s first game of the year, with its new, enhanced 60,000 capacity, sees West Ham United host Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday evening. The fixture could also mark Samir Nasri’s West Ham debut after he inked a short team deal till the end of the season. Pablo Zabaleta is also likely to return from illness to shore up a back four that looked poor against Burnley.

Brighton are winless in their last five games under the referee for this game, Chris Kavanagh. The Seagulls however did beat West Ham at home earlier this season (the Glenn Murray goal and some shocking defending from Arthur Masuaku), and will be looking to complete a league double over them.

West Ham had their best ever Premier League month in terms of points in December, picking up 15 from a possible 21. After a flat performance against Burnley, the Hammers will be looking to pull up their socks against the Seagulls.

Let’s take a look at what the pundits are predicting for this GW21 clash

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro was the only one to successfully predict a Burnley win over the weekend, and even got the score right! This time though, he’s chosen to back West Ham, adding that he feels Manuel Pellegrini’s side “will get back to winning ways” and that Brighton “never look like taking apart sides away from home”. He’s predicted a 2-0 win for the home side.

His celeb opponent, rapper Yatez, has predicted a 2-1 win for West Ham.

Paul Merson: Merson says that consistency has been a big problem for West Ham, citing their losses to Watford at home and Burnley away, but has gone with the same 2-0 scoreline as Lawro, adding that Brighton “aren’t the same team away”

Michael Owen: Owen notes that Brighton have lost seven of their last eight games in London, and has gone for a West Ham win, but expects both teams to score.

Summary of predictions for WHUFC v BHAFC

Lawrenson: West Ham 2-0 Brighton
CO: West Ham 2-1 Brighton
Merson: West Ham 2-0 Brighton
Owen: West Ham to win, but both teams to score

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