'You have to be clever' - Matthew Upson highlights the one West Ham player Brighton must shackle at the London Stadium
Former Albion and West Ham defender Matthew Upson believes the Brighton rearguard face a unique challenge against West Ham on Wednesday night
Brighton will have to be “a bit shrewd” in their attempts to shackle the threat of West Ham frontman Michail Antonio, according to former England defender Matthew Upson.
Antonio has proven a key asset in David Moyes’ well-drilled side this season, the Jamaica international delivering a physical attacking threat.
West Ham, who sit fourth, will be looking for a response to Sunday’s second straight Premier League defeat at Manchester City when they host Brighton on Wednesday night.
Upson, who will be part of Amazon Prime Video Sport’s punditry team for the match, believes Brighton will have their work cut out to keep Antonio quiet.
“You can have a game plan for him, but some of the time you have to accept there are situations with him that you are not going to win,” Upson, who played for both clubs, told the PA news agency.
“You almost have to make allowances for his power, robustness and directness, which is always a challenge for a centre-back.
“West Ham know where he likes the ball and likes to run, which is directly at people, so you have to be clever.
“You cannot compete probably legitimately for everything – you’ve got to be a bit shrewd with how you position your body, little bumps before the ball comes, a bit of gamesmanship really because he is hard to match.
“When he gets running, he is a powerful and quick player, so you have to make provisions as a centre-back unless you can match him physically, of which there are not that many who can.”
Amazon Prime Video will be broadcasting 20 Premier League fixtures this season featuring two full rounds of games on November 30 to December 2 and December 28-30. Matthew Upson will be part of the West Ham v Brighton punditry team on December 1.