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Match Previews

PREVIEW: ALBION PAIR IN CONTENTION FOR WATFORD

31 January 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Bernardo arrive at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton & Hove Albion welcome Watford to the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3pm, and Chris Hughton’s side will be hoping to react in positive fashion after Tuesday’s defeat in London.

The Seagulls raced into a 2-0 lead against Fulham at Craven Cottage, but four second-half goals turned the game on its head and extended Albion’s search for a league win to four matches.

Watford’s six-game unbeaten run came to an end on Wednesday evening, as two late goals from Tottenham Hotspur overturned their 1-0 lead at Wembley Stadium.

Albion recorded a narrow 1-0 victory over the Hornets when they visited the Amex in 2017, with Pascal Gross firing the winning goal in front of the North Stand after the break.



TEAM NEWS

Hughton confirmed that Alireza Jahanbakhsh is back from the Asian Cup and will train on Friday, as he comes back into contention for the Seagulls.

Bernardo has already returned to training, but a decision will be made on the fitness of the Brazilian, while Jose Izquierdo (knee) remains sidelined through injury.

Abdoulaye Doucoure (knee) could return for the Hornets after missing league matches against Burnley and Watford, but Sebastian Prodl (knee), Kiko Femenia (hamstring) are both expected to miss out through injury.



FORM

The Seagulls looked to be heading towards their first league victory since a 1-0 victory over Everton in December, but Fulham overturned Albion’s 2-0 lead to claim all three points at Craven Cottage.

Hughton’s side had previously drawn 0-0 against West Bromwich Albion in the Emirates FA Cup, and despite encouraging displays against Liverpool and Manchester United beforehand, Albion were narrowly beaten in both games.

Albion opened 2019 with a 2-2 draw against West Ham United at the London Stadium, and currently occupy 13th position in the Premier League table.

The Hornets have proven themselves hard to beat in recent weeks, as they strung together six unbeaten matches and progressed through two rounds of the FA Cup.

But Spurs were able to inflict defeat on Gracia’s side in London during the week, with Watford’s 2-1 defeat leaving them in 13th position after 24 matches played.

Despite winning twice in the FA Cup, the Hornets have only managed one victory in their last six Premier League matches, as they won 2-1 against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.



LAST TIME WE MET

Albion made the short trip to Vicarage Road on the opening day of the season, but Hughton’s side found themselves behind after 35 minutes, when Roberto Pereyra volleyed home from the edge of the penalty area.

The Argentinian fired his second goal of the game after the break, as he cut inside off the left wing and curled a shot past Maty Ryan, and despite Albion’s efforts to get back into the game, it ended in defeat.



LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

FULHAM 4
Chambers 47
Mitrovic 58, 74
Vietto 79

ALBION 2
Murray 3, 17

Albion line-up: Ryan, Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Stephens, Propper; March, Gross (Andone 77), Locadia (Knockaert 71); Murray.

Subs not used: Button (GK), Bruno, Burn, Kayal, Bissouma.



LAST TIME OUT: WATFORD

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2
Son 80
Llorente 87

WATFORD 1
Cathcart 38

Watford line-up: Foster; Janmaat, Mariappa, Cathcart, Holebas; Hughes, Cleverley (Wilmot 66), Capoue, Pereyra; Deulofeu (Success 61), Deeney.

Subs not used: Gomes (GK), Britos, Masina, Sema, Quina.



PLAYER TO WATCH: Roberto Pereyra

Albion know all too well about the threat Watford’s number 37 poses — his opening day double at Vicarage Road secured a 2-0 victory, with his first strike being a sweetly-struck volley straight from a corner.

In total, the Argentinian has started all 24 Premier League matches for Watford this season, scoring six goals and claiming two assists along the way.

His form in England’s top flight has sprung him back into Argentina’s national side — Pereyra made three appearances across October and November, and scored his first senior goal against Iran.


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