Simon Mail previews Brighton's home game against West Ham and thinks there could be another draw on the cards this weekend...
"The draw is on offer at [3.15] and looks by far the best bet in this market. Half of Brighton's 12 home games have finished level this season while West Ham have drawn three of their last four matches in the league."
Brighton v West Ham
Lack of wins leaving Brighton in danger
Brighton have been competitive in their first season in the Premier League but Chris Hughton's side are still very much in the thick of the relegation battle. The club are 15th in the top flight but only one point clear of the bottom three, so it looks like being a nervy run-in for them. Brighton, who drew 1-1 at Southampton on Wednesday, have only managed five victories in the league and only one win in their last 14 matches in the competition.
A lack of goals has been a major problem for Brighton with 18 the joint lowest total in the division. Hughton has tried to resolve this during the transfer window by bringing back former striker Leonardo Ulloa from Leicester on loan and the record signing of Jurgen Locadia from PSV Eindhoven. Defensively, Brighton have conceded the joint fewest goals outside of the top five but their new attacking signings could determine whether they maintain their status in the league.
Hammers proving hard to beat in the league
West Ham appeared to be in disarray prior to the appointment of David Moyes but the former Everton and Manchester United manager has steadied the ship and improved the club's results since his arrival in November. He has made the Hammers much harder to beat with the club only losing one of their last ten league matches. West Ham are still not safe, four points clear of the bottom three in 12th, but there is enough ability in their squad to finish in mid-table.
Moyes has not been helped by a spate of injuries to key players such as Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini over the last month which has decimated his squad. An under-strength side were well beaten at League One leaders Wigan in the FA Cup recently but the Hammers' priority was always to climb to safety and the team appear to be on track for this despite their absent players. West Ham drew 1-1 at home to Crystal Palace in their last game on Tuesday.
Brighton are the [2.36] favourites and this looks far too short to back. The hosts are on a poor run and have gone six league games without a victory. The Seagulls did manage to beat West Ham 3-0 away back in October but their opponents are in much better shape now. Brighton have only won three of their 12 home matches so there really is no temptation to side with them especially at such cramped odds.
The visitors are on offer at [3.75] and this certainly offers better value than Brighton. But Moyes has had to cope with mounting injuries which have severely affected his options particularly in attack. Although the Hammers have been hard to beat, they have only won two of 13 away matches in the league. It suggests West Ham are fragile on the road and there will be better occasions to back them.
The draw is on offer at [3.15] and looks by far the best bet in this market. Half of Brighton's 12 home games have finished level this season while West Ham have drawn three of their last four matches in the league. Both clubs have drawn nine of their 12 matches so the likelihood of a stalemate is high. Both were also held in their last game and the lack of firepower means they could easily cancel each other out.
Brighton's struggles in front of goal and West Ham's injuries problems in attack suggest this could be a low scoring contest. The Hammers' last four games in all competitions have produced under three goals, as have three of Brighton's last four matches. But the odds of under 2.5 goals are predictably short at just [1.58] which is enough to look elsewhere for a bet.
Roger East takes charge of this contest and the referee has sent off two players in 19 matches this season. He handed out five red cards in 33 games during the previous campaign.
Glenn Murray has scored four of Brighton's last six goals in all competitions, including each of the last three. The striker is 11/5 to add to his tally this weekend.
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Simon Mail's 2017/18 P/L