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Watford vs Brighton & Hove Albion: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction

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Newly-promoted Brighton & Hove Albion will be looking to earn their first ever Premier League points when they take the trip to Vicarage Road to face a spirited Watford on Saturday afternoon.

It’s certainly been a shock to the system for the Seagulls since their promotion from the Championship last season, losing both of their opening two matches and failing to score on each occasion.

And up against a rejuvenated Watford side under Marco Silva they face another stern examination of their top-flight credentials, with the Hornets looking to continue their unbeaten start to the year.

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Watford have started the campaign in fine form after a disappointing season last time out, impressing in their draw with Liverpool on the opening weekend before beating Bournemouth.

Their momentum stalled slightly in midweek though following a 3-2 Carabao Cup defeat to Championship side Bristol City – despite a weakened team – and they will look to get three points.

On the other side, it’s been a huge baptism of fire in the Premier League for Brighton in their opening two matches, failing to find the net – and only creating four chances – in 180 minutes.

Nobody expected them to defeat a strong Manchester City side but the tepid manner of their Leicester City loss will worry Chris Hughton ahead of a long battle for survival come the end of May.

Yet a much-needed victory over League Two’s Barnet in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening will raise spirits around the Amex, and Brighton will be confident of getting a result from Vicarage Road.

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With Jose Holebas and Daryl Janmaat still ruled out Marco Silva’s side are in the midst of a small defensive crisis, with squad player Christian Kabasele likely to be given the make-shift left-back role.

Nathaniel Chalobah will continue his driving midfield role following his first call-up to the international senior side on Thursday, whilst Andre Gray and Richarlison are expected to start after stand-out displays.

For the visitors, new club record signing Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge could be in line for a starting berth at Vicarage Road, slotting in to his favoured left-wing spot to support Glen Murray.

Izzy Brown is unlikely to be ready until the West Brom game whilst Anthony Knockaert is moving ever closer to full match fitness and is likely to feature from the substitute bench during the second-half.

Predicted Line-Ups
Match Prediction: Watford 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton will no doubt want to get rid of any early season jitters and nerves and register their first points on the board as early as possible, and against an inconsistent Watford they could do just that.

The arrival of Izquierdo will no doubt provide a big boost and provide some much needed attacking impetus, but it’s whether the team as whole can rise to the challenge and cause the hosts problems.

But Marco Silva has already done some stellar work with his side in the short time that he’s been manager and, despite his defensive crisis, Watford’s attackers should have too much for Brighton.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Connor Goldson desperate for trophies at Rangers in near future

The new Rangers man is keen to bring the glory days back to Ibrox.

Jamie Watts

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Fans were jubilant last week after securing the signing of impressive defender Connor Goldson from Brighton & Hove Albion last week, and the 25-year-old is bringing the mentality required to bring “revolution” to Ibrox in the near future.

Goldson has revealed his desire to win trophies with the Scottish giants, in quotes via the official club website, and sees the new manager Steven Gerrard as a major turning point in the club’s fortunes.

The Gers have failed to win silverware since their return to the Scottish top-flight in 2016, and have chopped and changed managers regularly, with Gerrard now the third manager to take the reins following Mark Warburton’s dismissal in March of last year.

Photo: Getty Images

But Goldson is undeterred by previous seasons and believes the club will re-establish themselves as contenders on all fronts in Scotland next term.

“It is more team targets that interest me. I want to win things and I have always been in teams that have won things,” the Englishman revealed.

“That is a reason for coming here. I’ve said to the manager – I don’t want to come here and just play good football and not win things. I want to come here and win trophies, and I think that’s what the fans are craving. They’re craving success and we need to build a team is able to give them that.”

The Wolverhampton-born defender claims the arrival of Gerrard was a major factor in his decision to join Rangers, and believes he will instil a winning mentality at Ibrox that players will buy into, while revealing he is also keen to become a leader on that front.

Photo: Getty Images

“He [Gerrard] wants to bring a winning mentality to the football club, and I am all for that. I have been lucky to have been in winning teams, being promoted a couple of times, and that is what I want to do here.”

Gerrard is coming into an extremely demanding job and will need to have the courage to well and truly shake things up at the club, because bitter rivals Celtic are showing no signs of faltering in recent times – having won the unprecedented ‘double-treble’ this term.

The Hoops have dominated everyone in the Scottish Premiership since Gerrard’s former boss Brendan Rodgers took over at Parkhead two-years back, and if Rangers can secure silverware in their first season under new management it would indicate a very successful year, and the club could build on it in the near future.

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After explosive U-23 form can Viktor Gyokeres have a breakout Brighton season?

Brighton signed the Swede in January and he has looked worth the investment.

Mathew Nash

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It was a deal that probably slipped by many a Brighton and Hove Albion fan, but in September last year, the Seagulls agreed on a deal to sign Swedish talent Viktor Gyokeres.

One reason why it might have slipped Brighton fans by is that he did not join the club immediately. The young forward stayed with Brommapojkarna until the end of the Swedish second division season. At the time of the deal going through he had already scored 10 goals for the club. He ended the campaign with 13 league goals, helping his side win promotion back to the Swedish top-flight.

In January he finally arrived at Brighton and, judging by his form for the under-23 side, the Seagulls have an absolute talent on their hands.

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Gyokeres ended up playing nine times for Brighton’s youngsters, scoring an impressive seven goals. It included a run of six goals in five games and the question must now be asked, could he be ready for the first-team?

Of course, it would be a massive gamble of Chris Hughton’s to throw Gyokeres into the Premier League starting XI from August.

But the Swede definitely deserves a chance to impress during pre-season. If he can do that, then seeing him in action during one of the cup competitions next season should feel like a foreign concept.

He is certainly a name for Brighton fans to remember. Because, next season, he might be their surprise package.

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Rangers should play the waiting game to seal Connor Goldson deal

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Photo: Getty Images.

The calendar hasn’t even turned over from May to June and already Rangers’ transfer business is beginning to look like a saga as reports indicate that the Ibrox club could make a third improved bid for Brighton & Hove Albion defender Connor Goldson.

According to the Daily Record, a third bid will be made this week to add incentives and other add-ons to the £2 million fee which was rejected by the Seagulls on Friday.

It’s undeniable that Goldson must be one of the first names on Steven Gerrard’s shortlist of players to add to his squad before he arrives in Glasgow and Rangers are clearly intent on getting their man, but patience could prove fruitful in this case.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

To date, Rangers are the only club to be seriously linked with the former Shrewsbury Town man and his future at the American Express Community Stadium is on the edge. Having this week signed defender Leon Balogun from Mainz as cover for Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy, Goldson could expect even less game time than the eight appearances he got in 2017/18.

With the Gers pushing so hard, you would expect that they know that the player is keen on the move too and there are still three months remaining in the transfer window for which the club can wait and negotiate.

A statement signing is important to go alongside the appointment of Gerrard and keep him happy right from the off, but those in charge of negotiations should be cautious not to rush into a deal which costs them more than it needs to when that money could be spent elsewhere.

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