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Match Previews

PREVIEW: ALBION V WATFORD

21 December 2017

Brighton & Hove Albion play their first reverse fixture in the Premier League against Watford on Saturday afternoon, as Marco Silva’s team head to the Amex Stadium, kick-off 3pm.

The Seagulls drew 0-0 with the Hornets earlier this season, as they picked up their first Premier League point at Vicarage Road, but Chris Hughton’s team will be hoping to take all three this time around.

Albion sit 13th in the league table after 18 games, while the visitors occupy tenth position, four points ahead of the Seagulls in the lead up to Saturday’s meeting on the south coast.

TEAM NEWS:

Albion defender Shane Duffy is unavailable for the match after collecting his fifth booking of the season against Burnley last week, which means Uwe Huenemeier or Connor Goldson stand in line to make their first Premier League start.

Steve Sidwell (back) remains the only player out injured for the Seagulls, in an otherwise fully-fit squad that Hughton has to pick from.

Watford have three players missing due to suspension - Troy Deeney, Marvin Zeegelaar and Abdoulaye Doucoure - and also have a number of players sidelined with injuries.

Kiko Femenia, Will Hughes (both hamstring), Stefano Okaka (calf), Younes Kaboul (thigh), Nathaniel Chalobah, Craig Cathcart and Tommie Hoban (all knee) all remain sidelined, while Miguel Britos (bruised foot) and Isaac Success (foot) remain are doubts for the game.




REVERSE FIXTURE:

The Seagulls travelled to Vicarage Road after losing their opening two league games of the season against Manchester City and Leicester City, but their first Premier League point and clean sheet came before the first international break.

Miguel Britos was given his marching orders in the 24th minute for a late challenge on Anthony Knockaert, and despite the Frenchman hitting the post for Hughton's team, in a positive display, Albion were unable to find a winning goal and had to settle for a point.

FORM:

ALBION: The Seagulls ended a three-game run of defeats with a goalless draw against Burnley at the Amex last weekend, but it could have been all three points had Glenn Murray converted a first-half penalty.

Hughton’s team have only lost two of their nine home fixtures this season, with four consecutive draws coming at the Amex prior to their defeat against Liverpool at the start of December.


WATFORD: The Hornets head to the Amex having lost their last three games against Huddersfield Town, Crystal Palace and Burnley, most recently losing 4-1 to the Terriers at Vicarage Road.

Silva’s team drew 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the month, and recorded an impressive 3-0 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park towards the end of November.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

ALBION 0

BURNLEY 0

Albion line-up: Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert (Izquierdo 83), Stephens, Propper, March; Gross (Brown 75); Murray (Hemed 63).

Subs not used: Krul (GK), Goldson, Schelotto, Kayal.


LAST TIME OUT: WATFORD



WATFORD 1
Doucoure 68

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 4
Kachunga 6
Mooy 23, 89 (pen)
Depoitre 50

Watford line-up: Gomes; Kabasele, Prodl, Mariappa (Pereyra 29); Janmaat, Holebas (Okaka 82), Capoue (Gray 64), Doucoure; Carrillo, Deeney, Richarlison.

Subs not used: Karnezis (GK), Wague, Watson, Sinclair.




PLAYER TO WATCH: Richarlison

The Brazilian winger arrived from Fluminense this summer on a five-year deal for over £11m and marked his first league start with a goal against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium..

Richarlison has caught the eye with a number of impressive performances in the Premier League this season, as he’s become known for his pace and trickery down the wing.

The 20-year-old has claimed five assists and scored five goals so far this campaign, starting the last 17 of Watford 18 Premier League fixtures, after coming off the bench on the opening day of the season.

Watford’s number 11 has a promising future ahead of him. With three goals in ten appearances for Brazil’s under-20 team as well, the winger will be hoping to make an impression for the Hornets this season and push for a call-up to his nation’s senior squad.


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