West Brom v Brighton preview: Alan Pardew seeks first Premier League win with Baggies
Last Updated: 13/01/18 1:53pm
West Bromwich Albion will be aiming to close the gap on their relegation rivals with a positive result against Brighton at The Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.
The Baggies have yet to win under Alan Pardew in the Premier League and sit second from bottom, four points from safety.
Since winning their opening two games of the season, West Brom have not tasted victory in their last 20 top-flight fixtures, the longest run without a win in the club's league history.
Brighton scored their first Premier League goals when the two teams met earlier this season as the Seagulls ran out 3-1 winners with a double from Pascal Gross and a header from Tomer Hemed.
However, Chris Hughton has warned his players not to be fooled by the Baggies' woeful run of form and perilous league position.
"We certainly can't be sidelined by a difficult period (for West Brom)," said Hughton.
"What we have to look at is the quality they have in the squad and that means at any given time they can win football matches.
"I think what they have is good options and that makes them very dangerous.
"It's a game that they will want to win. The fact that they're at home against a team that they would see as not one of the top teams, it's a team that they are capable of beating and we have to be very guarded with that."
West Brom have centre-back Jonny Evans available to face Brighton after a recent foot injury, although there are doubts over central defender Craig Dawson (fatigue), left-back Kieran Gibbs (muscle strain) and midfielder Matt Phillips (hamstring).
However, the Baggies will definitely be without midfield duo Nacer Chadli (thigh) and James Morrison, who has had a setback in his recovery from an Achilles problem.
Izzy Brown will be absent for the trip to West Brom after he was ruled out for the rest of the season. The on-loan Chelsea forward sustained cruciate knee ligament damage in the early stages of Monday's FA Cup win over Crystal Palace, cutting short his stay with the Seagulls.
Midfielder Steve Sidwell, who has not featured so far this season because of a back problem, has suffered a further setback by sustaining an ankle complaint in training and remains Albion's only other injury issue.
The Baggies have never lost a home league match against Brighton (W5 D4 L0), in a run stretching between 1979 and 1993.
Indeed, West Brom have faced Brighton in more home games without defeat than they have any other side in their Football League history (nine).
However, Brighton have won three of their last four league games against West Brom, including a 3-1 victory at the Amex Stadium in the reverse fixture.
Each of the last three league meetings between these sides has finished 3-1 to the home side.
This is a massive game for both of these clubs. West Brom have been knocking on the door under Alan Pardew, they have been playing well but they've not been taking their chances.
Salomon Rondon and Jay Rodriguez did find the net in the FA Cup, though. I know it was against Exeter but it makes a difference. They will be full of confidence and, if they keep on making chances, they should end their 20-game winless run in the league.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (7/1 with Sky Bet)