Vicarage Road - Premier League
The Premier League returns to Vicarage Road this weekend, as Javi Gracia’s Watford host Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon. There wasn’t much between the sides last season, and this could be a close run affair too.
Three of the last six games between the teams have ended in a draw, including a 2-2 in the first meeting last season. Brighton won the second game at Vicarage Road 1-0, with Pascal Gross getting the winner for the Seagulls.
Tom Cleverley, Nathaniel Chalobah, Younes Kaboul and Stefano Okaka are all expected to miss out for Watford through injury. However, key man Gerard Deulofeu and Abdoulaye Doucoure are both in contention after fitness problems of their own.
Brighton have concerns over new signings Florin Andone, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and goalkeeper Jason Steele. Glenn Murray and Jose Izquierdo have also been carrying injuries but have a good chance of being available for this opening game.
Watford vs Brighton Preview and Predictions
Just one point separated Watford and Brighton last season, as the Hornets finished 14th in the Premier League table, and the Seagulls a place below. Both teams had decent starts to their campaigns last year, and will be looking for more of the same this time round.
Watford’s form in the first third of the 2017/18 season was instrumental in securing their top-flight status for another year, but boss Gracia needs to get his players performing after a slump towards the end of the campaign. The hosts start as the favourites in the betting for this weekend’s match, priced at 6/4 for the win.
Brighton are 2/1, showing that the bookmakers think this will be a tight game. The Seagulls have spent some big money in the transfer window, which they hope will allow them to build on their debut Premier League outing last term. They also had a great start last season, despite losing to Manchester City on the opening day.
After three draws in six between the sides, another stalemate could be worth your time in Saturday’s betting. That’s available at 23/10, with a repeat of last season’s 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road priced at 8/1.
The score draw at 7/2
There doesn’t seem to be much separating the two teams, so a score draw could turn out to be a wise bet for this game.
Under 2.5 goals at 7/10
This bet would’ve paid out in each of the last six meetings between the sides, so it could be a safe bet despite being less than even money.