West Ham United vs Brighton preview: Pablo Zabaleta in line to return
Watch in-game clips and goals as they go in on the Sky Sports app
Last Updated: 02/01/19 10:16am
Pablo Zabaleta could return from illness to face Brighton on Wednesday, but Manuel Pellegrini has warned West Ham's injury problems could take time to ease.
Marko Arnautovic returned in Sunday's defeat to Burnley, but Pellegrini revealed fellow forward Javier Hernandez is at least another week away from fitness.
Winston Reid (knee) remains out until late January but as yet there is no timescale on returns for Jack Wilshere, Ryan Fredericks (both ankle), Fabian Balbuena, Manuel Lanzini, Carlos Sanchez (all knee) and Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles).
Brighton forward Jose Izquierdo should be fit for the trip to the London Stadium after shaking off a knee injury. The Colombia international could make his first appearance since the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on December 4.
Brighton have no injuries but will be without Mat Ryan and Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who are both on international duty.
- West Ham have only won one of their seven top-flight matches against Brighton (D1 L5), winning 2-1 in March 1983.
- Brighton have won all three of their Premier League games against West Ham, more than they have against any other side.
- West Ham have lost two of their last three Premier League matches (W1), having lost just one of the eight prior to that (W5 D2 L1).
- Brighton have lost seven of their last eight top-flight games in London, although their only victory in that time was at West Ham last season (3-0).
- West Ham have a 26.5 per cent Premier League win rate in January (won 22/83), lower than in any other month in the competition.
- West Ham have conceded at least once in each of their last seven home Premier League games, the longest current such run in the competition.
- Brighton striker Glenn Murray has only started three away Premier League matches in London - he's scored in all three, netting five goals in total.
- The only previous occasion Brighton boss Chris Hughton has faced West Ham's Manuel Pellegrini away from home was in a Premier League meeting between Manchester City and Norwich in November 2013 - Man City won 7-0.
This is the problem with the mid-table teams. Consistency. The manager will be pulling his hair out, they're flying along and get beaten at home by Watford. Then they come from behind against Southampton, and then lose at Burnley. It's consistency levels.
I think they'll win here, Brighton aren't the same team away. I watched them against Everton and they were very comfortable against a team who had just won 5-1, but away from home - I don't know what it is, but I'd take West Ham.
West Ham could be dark horses for the cup too. They're not getting relegated, they're not going to get in the top six, and it's a prime reason for them to have a go.
MERSE SAYS: 2-0 (17/2 with Sky Bet)