Brighton will travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford in their first Premier League game of the season.
After a sub-par season last time, Brighton will go on a fresh start. Manager Chris Hughton was sacked after half a decade at the club. His side finished 17th in the league last time after a close shave with relegation. In the end, they avoided the drop by just two points. Brighton were in real danger of getting relegated but some great results in the end, saved them. But despite that, it proved to be the last straw for Hughton.
He led the Seagulls to the Premier League in 2017 when Brighton finished just one point below leaders Newcastle in the Championship. Since then, he has managed to keep them safe with limited resources at his disposal. But the owners decided that a new chapter was necessary and Graham Potter was appointed as his successor. Potter managed Swansea City last season, and this will be his first venture of managing a top-flight club.
Potter has been active in the transfer window. Leandro Trossard was signed from KRC Genk for €20 million. The fee is a hefty one for Brighton, and the pressure will be on Trossard to perform. Anthony Knockaert has joined on Fulham on loan for next season which will mean that Trossard will take a big role from the off. Centre-back Matt Clarke is the only other major signing Brighton have made so far.
Watford meanwhile will look to achieve big things this season. The Hornets finished 11th last season, but this was due to a poor run at the end of the season. They also reached the FA Cup final where Manchester City beat them. Javi Gracia must be satisfied with the work he has done in his first full season in charge. With no major changes to his squad, he will look to reach higher levels this season.
Gerard Deulofeu has made his deal permanent, and he will be a key player for Watford next season. He formed a great partnership with captain Troy Deeney last season in attack. Behind the two they have midfielders like Abdoulaye Doucoure and Etienne Capoue who can do a bit of everything. Their 4-4-2 formation is set to continue this season, and Gracia has confidence in the respective players in it.
Watford signed Craig Dawson from West Brom, and he will provide competition in defence. Gracia has great depth in his side and they can hope for a finish in the top half of the Premier League. The Hornets dominate the head to head record against Brighton. They have lost just one of the nine games between the two sides.
Watford vs Brighton Prediction
Brighton are starting anew, and Watford should get the win in their opening game. The Hornets should win comfortably. The total goals should be more than 2.5 in the game. Brighton will find it tough to score, and there is a high chance of a Watford clean sheet. A heavy home win is on the cards at Vicarage Road.