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West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku set for defensive examination by Anthony Knockaert

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West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku set for defensive examination by Anthony Knockaert

West Ham left-back Arthur Masuaku has shown in recent weeks that he’s improving defensively and is becoming an important member of the back four.

The 24-year-old speed machine has proven at the London Stadium that he can be a real threat going forward, but manager Manuel Pellegrini is now beginning to get the best out of him defensively too.

The Hammers travel to Brighton on Friday night for a Premier League clash and will be keen to extend their unbeaten run in the league to four matches.

But Brighton have shown they can be a real force at home and have already been Manchester United at the Amex Stadium this season.

One of their biggest attaching threats is trickster Anthony Knockaert, who is a right-winger that can be a full-back’s worse nightmare on his day.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 29: Anthony Knockaert of Brighton and Hove Albion runs with the ball as Oleksandr Zinchenko of Manchester City looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion at Etihad Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Masuaku is set to line up directly against Knockaert and it will be a big test of how far he’s come defensively so far this campaign.

The West Ham left-back should be able to match the wide man for pace, but he can be so difficult to defend against in one-on-one positions because of his agility.

Knockaert has been directly involved in four goals in Brighton’s opening seven games and his individual battle with Masuaku could go a long way to deciding the game.

Masuaku has to be judged on how he copes with the diminutive attacker, who could give him a real examination with his back to goal.

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