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    Watford vs Brighton & Hove Albion *** Official Match Thread ***


    19 Not allowed!


    Watford v Albion

    PREMIER LEAGUE

    Venue: Vicarage Road
    Date: Saturday 10th August 2019
    Kick-off: 15:00 BST
    Referee: Craig Pawson
    Assistants: Ian Hussin, Richard West
    Fourth official: Peter Wright
    Video Assistant Referee: Andrew Madley
    Additional Video Assistant Referee: Mark Scholes

    TEAM NEWS

    Danny Welbeck has a long-term ankle injury, with Nathaniel Chalobah, Adalberto Penaranda, Domingos Quina and Dimitri Foulquier all also not fit.

    Brighton could give competitive debuts to Neal Maupay, Adam Webster, Leandro Trossard and Aaron Mooy.

    Jose Izquierdo, Ezequiel Schelotto and Yves Bissouma are all injured.

    MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES

    Mark Scott: There's a feel-good factor around Watford after their highest league finish since the mid-1980s and an FA Cup final appearance.

    Finishing as the best of the rest this time around is a realistic target as the Hornets enjoy some long-awaited stability under the impressive Javi Gracia, with Ismaila Sarr an exciting addition.

    Brighton owner Tony Bloom is said to have one of the sharpest gambling minds around, and after almost nose-diving into relegation under Chris Hughton he has rolled the dice and brought in Graham Potter, who worked wonders at Ostersunds and did a fine job under testing conditions at Swansea.

    Potter's CV ensures there will be plenty of intrigue into how he fares, and it's a safe bet the Seagulls will look extremely different under him.

    WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

    Watford head coach Javi Gracia: "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."

    Graham Potter: "We're going to a well-organised outfit who play to their strengths very well; they were FA Cup finalists last season and were strong in the Premier League, so we're under no illusions about how difficult it will be.

    "We need to be ready for that. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited, but it isn't about me.

    "It's about us as a team and as a club trying to get off to a good start and show what we've been working on."

    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head

    • Brighton have not won on any of their last four visits to Watford (D2, L2), scoring just one goal in those games.
    • Watford also hosted Brighton in their first league match last season, winning 2-0 through goals from Roberto Pereyra.
    • The away team has failed to score in all four Premier League matches between Watford and Brighton.


    Watford

    • Watford finished 11th in last season's Premier League, their highest-ever position, and earned a club record 50 points.
    • The Hornets lost their last three league games in 2018-19.
    • They haven't lost their opening league game in any of the past 12 seasons (W6, D6).
    • Watford failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 15 competitive fixtures of 2018-19, conceding 34 goals.
    • Gerard Deulofeu has made 99 Premier League appearances.


    Albion

    • Brighton would equal their longest top-flight winless run of 10 matches if they fail to beat Watford.
    • Eight of their nine league victories last season were by a single-goal margin.
    • They have won just one of their opening fixtures in a top-flight season (D2, L3). That was back in 1980-81 when they beat Wolves 2-0.
    • Albion have only managed five wins from their 38 Premier League away matches (D9, L24).
    • Glenn Murray has scored 36% of Brighton's Premier League goals (25 of 69), the highest ratio by one player at any club.
    ● A 21-year-old man from Shoreham was arrested at the Amex stadium on suspicion of throwing a pie at Wilfried Zaha ●

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