Match Preview – Watford v Brighton


Javier Gracia’s Watford entertain Brighton at Vicarage Road in their opening game of the 2019/20 English Premier League season (Saturday 10th August, 15:00), with both sides looking to kick their campaign off in positive fashion.

The Hornets will be looking to push on into the top half this season after last seasons solid 11th place finish and run to the FA Cup final.

New Brighton boss Graham Potter’s initial aim will be to guarantee their survival after a disappointing second half to last season’s campaign saw Albion finish perilously close to the drop zone in 17th.

Team news

Watford will be without the services of young Venezuelan striker Adalberto Penaranda and defensive midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah who are both still a week away from fitness after returning from knocks.

Right-back Dimitri Foulquier is also sidelined with a minor calf problem while the creative Roberto Pereyra may be fit enough to take a place on the bench.

New arrival Danny Welbeck, who joined on a free transfer this week, is still a week or two away from full fitness.

After smashing the club record to bring Ismaila Sarr to Vicarage Road from Rennes, the Senegalese winger will be unavailable for the match after missing the deadline. The £27m man only signed on Thursday and is expected to link up with his new team-mates next week.

Some good news for The Hornets however, is the return of the skilful Gerard Deulofeu from injury. The Spaniard has trained all week and has been declared fully fit to start on Saturday.

Brighton will be without long term absentee Ezequiel Schelotto, who has suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury and will be out for some time.

There is also no time scale on the return of winger Jose Izquierdo, who is sidelined with a long term knee injury, while midfielder Yves Bissouma also misses out with a shoulder problem.

Watford boss Javier Gracia told the press his side were looking to continue in the same vein as last season and build on their progress.

” I think after the pre-season, the team is ready to compete and play their first match.

“We try to keep the same good things we did last year and try to repeat it in the same way. Every season is different and you never know what is going to happen in the next games, but our mentality is the same as we had last season”.

Brighton manager Graham Potter told his club’s website  that he was under no illusions that the trip to Vicarage Road will be a tough one, but he backs his side after a positive pre-season:


Brighton shade the head to head record between the sides overall, with 44 victories to Watford’s 36, along with 34 encounters ending all square.

The last five meetings have been tight affairs, with two wins for The Hornets, one for The Seagulls and two draws. If recent history is anything to go by, it could be a low scoring clash, with only five goals in total being scored in the previous five matches between the sides.

Expected line-ups

Watford – Foster; Femenia, Holebas, Dawson, Cathcart; Doucoure, Capoue, Hughes, Deulofeu; Deeney, Gray.

Brighton – Ryan; Montoya, Bong, Dunk, Duffy; Trossard, Gross, Stephens, Propper, March; Murray.


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