Although the Premier League is currently on its mid-season break, there are still games going on including a relegation battle between Brighton and Watford.
Watford have undoubtedly improved since Nigel Pearson’s arrival and look in good shape to avoid the drop, despite losing their past two league games and still being in the relegation zone.
But while they have been moving away from the bottom, Brighton have been falling towards it, without a win in their past five games and now just three points ahead of Watford.
Although the Hornets will not leapfrog Brighton with a win this weekend, unless it’s by five goals, victory for Pearson’s men would make the relegation battle even more exciting.
Read on for our Brighton vs Watford preview, predictions, team news and TV coverage information.
When is Brighton vs Watford and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Amex Stadium
Date: Saturday, 08 February 2020
Kick-off: 5:30 (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 1, BT Sport 1 HD and online via the BT Sport app.
Last five meetings: Brighton vs Watford
10 August 2019: Watford 0-3 Brighton (Premier League)
02 February 2019: Brighton 0-0 Watford (Premier League)
11 August 2018: Watford 2-0 Brighton (Premier League)
23 December 2017: Brighton 1-0 Watford (Premier League)
26 August 2017: Watford 0-0 Brighton (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Brighton (WDLWD) 4-2 Watford (LDWLD)
Ones to watch
Brighton: Davy Propper
Brighton do have some impressive players in their squad but one that perhaps goes slightly under the radar is Davy Propper.
The Netherlands international has missed just three Premier League games this season, two through injury and one being rested on Boxing Day. Of his 22 appearances, all have been from the start and all have lasted the full 90 minutes, with Propper building a partnership in the holding midfield role alongside Dale Stephens.
His presence there allows Brighton’s attacking players to focus on trying to implement Graham Potter’s forward-thinking style while also getting involved himself, and it’s no surprise he was recently rewarded with a two-year contract extension.
Key stat: Davy Propper has made 46 tackles and completed 1,110 passes in the Premier League this season.
Watford: Abdoulaye Doucoure
For a long time Abdoulaye Doucoure was known as a defence-minded midfielder, but the arrival of Nigel Pearson has seen the Frenchman deployed further up the pitch with success.
On top of scoring twice in his past five games, Doucoure provides an early obstacle for Watford’s opponents trying to build up from the back. His tackling ability and imposing presence puts a lot of pressure high up the pitch which Watford try to benefit from.
Across the Premier League, only five players have been better at winning possession in the final third than Doucoure this season, which is testament to his capabilities.
Key stat: Abdoulaye Doucoure (21) has won possession in the final third more than any other Watford player in the Premier League this season.
Confirmed Brighton line-up:
🔢 Here’s how Albion take to the field for today’s game with @WatfordFC.
— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) February 8, 2020
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Confirmed Watford line-up:
🚨 TEAM NEWS 🚨
One change for the Hornets…
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) February 8, 2020
The opening match of the season aside, games between Watford and Brighton aren’t usually a goalfest, and with big pressure on the result, expect a close one.
Despite their recent defeats, Watford have shown themselves to be a good team under Pearson and will look to capitalise on Brighton’s poor run.