Preview: Watford v Brighton

Watford will look to remain unbeaten in their 12th consecutive opening day league fixture when they host Brighton at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

However, to do so they will need to overturn another statistic after never beating Brighton in a Premier League encounter. They haven’t even managed to score against the Seagulls.

After a very strong start to the season last time around, Watford’s form fell off a cliff in the second part of the campaign before they eventually finished 14th.

Ultimately, they were just eight points away from the relegation places and Brighton will hope to spring an upset and end Watford’s opening day joy this weekend.

Ahead of their second Premier League season, Brighton boss Chris Hughton made it very clear that survival is their key aim this season.

“Would I take 17th? Probably the bigger part of me says yes because my responsibility is to make sure this club is in the Premier League the following season,” he said.

“But we have to think about Watford on Saturday and trying to get a result there. We will go into every game looking to get something.”

Watford will be delighted with news that Abdoulaye Doucoure has recovered from appendicitis in time to take part, but they will still be without the services of key quartet Gerard Deulofeu, Nathaniel Chalobah, Stefano Okaka and Tom Cleverley.

Florin Andone is Hughton’s only injury concern while Colombian Jose Izquierdo is still on holiday after his participation in the World Cup.