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    ʕ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Dick Head's Avatar
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    Brighton & Hove Albion vs Watford *** Official Match Thread ***


    7 Not allowed!



    Brighton v Watford


    PREMIER LEAGUE

    Venue: The American Express Community Stadium
    Date: Saturday 23rd December 2017
    Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
    Referee: Paul Tierney
    Assistants: Stuart Burt, Mark Scholes
    Fourth official: Graham Scott



    TEAM NEWS


    Brighton defender Shane Duffy must serve a one-match ban for accumulating five bookings, so Uwe Huenemeier or Connor Goldson stand in line to make their first Premier League start.

    Steve Sidwell remains the only player out injured for the Seagulls.

    Watford are without suspended trio Troy Deeney, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Marvin Zeegelaar, but Tom Cleverley is available after serving a ban.

    Will Hughes has a slim chance of making his comeback from a hamstring injury.


    MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES

    Jonathan Pearce: "Both of these sides seek Christmas cheer.

    "I watched Brighton become increasingly unaware of how to find a win in the last half hour against Burnley after they'd failed to put away good early chances and missed a penalty.

    "Now they need to win this after three months without a home victory. They've drawn too many for comfort. Danger signs are flashing. Shane Duffy's suspension won't help. A small squad must be strengthened in January. A goal scorer is essential.

    "Watford have had too many red cards. With four defeats in five games, their slip is alarming and the players need to realise they'll be in relegation rat race if they lose this."


    WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

    Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton: "Week in, week out we are up against better teams. That's the challenge.

    "I do think it is a psychological advantage not to be in that bottom three.

    "Any team that are in the bottom three, it becomes a bigger challenge and a bigger focus that you have got to get out of it."

    Watford head coach Marco Silva: "In the last three matches we have played almost two hours with 10 players.

    "But if you make the analysis about red cards, you can look at yellow cards, too. If you look at the bookings, our team is in the middle of the table.

    "Our team is a fair one which tries to compete and play in the normal way. Some things happen in the moment. If you really have a disciplinary problem you are the first in yellow cards, but that is not our way."

    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head

    • Brighton's only win in their last 11 league matches against Watford came in the Championship at Vicarage Road in September 2012 (D5, L5).
    • This will be the first top-flight meeting between these sides at Brighton since a 1-1 draw at the Goldstone Ground on New Year's Day 1983.


    Brighton

    • The Seagulls are enduring a seven-match winless league run (D3, L4).
    • Their only goal in six Premier League games was Glenn Murray's penalty in a 5-1 home defeat by Liverpool on 2 December.
    • The other five of Brighton's last six home matches have been drawn.
    • All four of Brighton's league wins this season have come against teams currently below them in the table. Watford are three places higher going into the weekend fixtures.
    • Chris Hughton's side have failed to score in half of their 18 league fixtures this season.
    • Glenn Murray is expected to make his 200th appearance for Albion on Saturday, spread over almost a decade,



    Watford

    • They have only earned one point from the last five matches and could lose four in a row for the first time this season.
    • Watford have an identical record after 18 games to last season, with six wins and 22 points.
    • Marco Silva's side have lost four of their past five away games but have still earned a league-high 59% of their points on the road.
    • The Hornets have scored 19 goals in their last 10 Premier League away games, compared to only 18 goals in their previous 28.
    • Watford have conceded an unrivalled 71 Premier League goals in 2017, including 33 this season.
    • They have had a player sent off in each of their last three games - no side has ever received a red card in four consecutive Premier League fixtures.
    • Andre Gray has scored in four of his five previous league games against Brighton.
    Mackay: I'm going to book you for that.
    Cooper: You what?
    Mackay: What's your name, Cooper?
    Cooper: Cooper.

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