Match Preview – Brighton v West Ham United

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West Ham United – the club
West Ham are one of only eight teams never to have fallen before the second tier of English football, having spent 59 out of their 91 seasons in the Football League in the top flight. They famously won the World Cup for England in 1966 and are very proud of the “West Ham way”which, as far as we can tell, involves hounding good, effective managers out of the club based on some myth about attacking football and replacing them with clowns. Their current owners are David Sullivan and David Gold who rather hilariously have moved the club to the Olympic Stadium and declared that they should be Champions League contenders while pinching as many pennies as possible. We’ll have some of what they are smoking, please.

West Ham – the place
West Ham is situated in East London. The area underwent rapid growth from 1844 following the Metropolitan Building Act. This basically meant that buildings dealing in dangerous substances and the like couldn’t be built in central areas of London, so they all had to shift to the outskits and places like West Ham. As a result, it became one of Victorian Britain’s major manufacturing centres for pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and processed foods. The slum conditions in these areas led to outbreaks of contagious diseases and severe poverty. Still, can’t have done much harm can it? West Ham won England a World Cup after all.

West Ham – the people
West Ham have a plethora of famous fans including Danny Dyer, Ray Winstone and Russell Brand. It’s actually difficult to find a celebrity Hammers fan that isn’t a bit of a prick, especially when it comes to brand who despite looking homeless and being about as funny as homelessness, managed to marry Katy Perry. Three famous residents of West Ham of course won Engand a World Cup as well.

A good WeAreBrighton.com memory of West Ham at home
Bobby Zamora showed he was a Brighton man at heart when missing an absolute sitter when the two sides drew 2-2 at Withdean in 2005. Mark McGhee’s side desperately needed to avoid defeat in order to avoid relegation to League One and our Bob helped the cause hugely. He would go onto score the winning goal in the play off final for West Ham come the end of the campaign.

A bad WeAreBrighton.com memory of West Ham at home
It’s hard to think of anything worse than going to a football game but not coming home from it. That was the fate afforded to one poor elderly Albion fan when West Ham fans ran riot at the Goldstone in August 1979, breaking out of their pen in the North East corner of the ground and invading home sections with the result being a gentleman losing his life after being crushed on the East Terrace.

Played for both
We’ve already mentioned a certain Mr Zamora but other players to have represented both sides are few and far between. Defender Tony Browne from the Gillingham era began his career at West Ham before signing for the Albion under Brian Horton while an even more forgettable name was midfielder Tony Stokes who managed six appearances on loan under Mark McGhee before the Albion belatedly realised he was terribe (every supporter knew that after 10 minutes) and sent him back to Upton Park.

Dangermen
One of the reasons behind the Hammers upturn in form since replacing Slaven Bilic with David Moyes has been Moyes managing to get the best out of Austrain striker Marko Arnautović. Given the fact that Shane Duffy in particular has looked a little bit ropey over the last month or so, Arnautovic could cause real problems to the Albion.

Betting
Six out of our 12 home games so far this season have ended in draws and with two struggling sides who would rather avoid defeat than actively chase a win, it isn’t hard to find value in the draw at 5/2. Leonardo Ulloa is 15/2 to score last and given he is likely to be used from the bench, that seems like a good bet given his liking for dramatic goals such as that away at Nottingham Forest or on his previous home debut against Arsenal in 2013.

Prediction
Do you even need to ask? 1-1, of course. With Chris Hughton making his first tactical sub on 74 minutes.

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