Watford v Brighton: Likely line-ups for Premier League opener

Bernardo. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Bernardo. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Brighton begin their second season in the Premier League away to Watford this afternoon.

Chris Hughton's Albion team finished one point behind the Hornets last year and strengthened their squad with ten summer signings.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

WATFORD

Starting XI: Foster; Janmaat, Cathcart, Kabalese, Holebas; Capoue; Pereya, Hughes, Sema; Gray, Deeney.

The Hornets brought in six players over the summer - while Richarlison was the main departure from their squad, joining Everton for a reported £40m fee.

Ben Foster is set to start in goal after returning to the club from West Brom in the summer and Watford supporters could get a first competitive look at summer signing Ken Sema.

BRIGHTON

Starting XI: Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, March; Gross; Murray. Subs (from): Button, Balogun, Bissouma, Jahanbakhsh, Locadia, Kayal, Hemed, Bong, Scheletto, Montoya.

Bernardo is set to make his Albion debut at left-back after joining from RB Leipzig this summer. The Seagulls made nine other summer signings and of them David Button, Leon Balogun, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Yves Bissouma are all likely to be on the bench.

Florin Andone is set to return to training next week after a groin injury, while Martin Montoya signed late on transfer deadline day on Thursday so may not be involved today.

Jose Izquierdo is not ready to return yet after his World Cup exploits with Colombia.

WHAT THEY'VE SAID

Watford boss Javi Gracia: “We are ready after a good pre-season.

“The players have done outstanding performances with good matches. We have competed all the games in a high level. I'm sure against Brighton it will be more demanding than the games we have played, but I think we are ready.”

Albion goalkeeper Mathew Ryan: “One thing we would like to improve on is our away form. I think we notched two wins away from home last season, but they were vital in our campaign.

“I believe that if we play to the level that I know we can, we’ll be going up to Watford with a really good chance of winning the game.

“We just need to sustain those levels throughout the match to give ourselves the best chance.”