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Match Previews

PREVIEW: WATFORD V ALBION

9 August 2018

Linton Rogers
Albion take on Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon.

Brighton & Hove Albion get their 2018/19 Premier League campaign underway against Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3pm.

The Seagulls secured a second season in the top flight after finishing 15th in the Premier League last season, and Chris Hughton’s men will once again look to open their account against the Hornets.

A goalless draw at Vicarage Road in 2017 secured the Seagulls their first-ever Premier League point, and thousands of Albion supporters will again make the trip to Hertfordshire this weekend.

The Hornets will have a different manager in the dugout this time, as Javi Gracia begins his first full season in charge, and a number of new faces will be on show for both sides after a busy summer transfer window.



TEAM NEWS

Hughton confirmed that Jurgen Locadia has been training for a couple of weeks and should be okay for Saturday’s visit to Vicarage Road.

Florin Andone remains a doubt for the Seagulls, after picking up an injury in pre-season, while Jose Izquierdo is expected to miss out on Albion’s Premier League opener.

Watford have a few injury doubts heading into this weekend’s match, including Nathaniel Chalobah and Abdoulaye Doucoure, while Younes Kaboul and Obbi Oulare remain long-term absentees.




LAST TIME WE MET

The Seagulls claimed all three points when the Hornets visited the Amex Stadium shortly before Christmas last season, with Pascal Gross firing the winning goal in the second half.

It was Albion’s first victory in eight Premier League matches and sealed vital points before their Boxing Day fixture against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Connor Goldson came into the side to make his Premier League debut, months after undergoing preventative surgery, and the former Albion defender helped his team-mates to a clean sheet.

Gross found space on the edge of Watford’s penalty area in the 64th minute and squeezed a low-driven effort past Heurelho Gomes to claim a 1-0 victory in a closely-contested match at the Amex.



PLAYER TO WATCH: Gerard Deulofeu

The Spaniard has shown promise during his spells at Barcelona, Sevilla, Everton and AC Milan, with the attacking playmaker being only 24 years of age with over 200 senior appearances to his name.

Deulofeu signed for the Hornets from Barcelona after a successful loan spell last season, firing his only goal for the club in their 4-1 victory against Chelsea at Vicarage Road.

The quick and skilful winger, who can also play as a striker, made 17 appearances for Barcelona before moving to Watford on loan last season - including three games in the UEFA Champions League.


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