Surging win to evoke confidence for Seagulls as they prepare for Hornets
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: Graham Potter, Manager of Brighton and Hove Albion speaks with Shane Duffy of Brighton and Hove Albion following the Premier League match between Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion at Turf Moor on August 14, 2021 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

When Brighton & Hove Albion trudged into the changing room upon the blow of the halftime whistle against Burnley last week, supporters might just have been slightly concerned by the hapless performance. 

What ensued was an emphatic turnaround after the break that gave the Premier League a glimpse of what Graham Potter and his Seagulls can offer to the division. 

On Saturday, newly promoted Watford will present a different test, with the respective clubs enticed by the opportunity to record successive wins at the start of the season.

Whilst a cagey affair is an easy prediction, it is not out of the question for a riveting evening as each side attempts to clinch victory; both Potter and Watford manager Xisco see three points as very much feasible. 

Seagulls to display clinical touch?

Last year, Brighton notoriously found the opposition net an evasive area, but against Burnley demonstrated a ruthless edge that bodes well for the current campaign.

Neal Maupay looked sharp, and Potter's shrewd footballing brain paid dividends as offensive substitutions proved decisive. 

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To accompany a potentially offensive tactical plan, the Seagulls will equally attempt to utilise possession to grind down their opponents: Brighton dictated proceedings on Saturday with 64% of the ball, whilst Watford implemented a counter-attacking approach with 38% against Aston Villa

Watford did well in securing an initial win on their return, and were clinical in their own right, but will face a team brimming with confidence down on the south coast; and a roaring opposing crowd.

Indeed, The AMEX Stadium will be able to host a full stadium for the first time since Covid-19 plagued the world in 2020. The home support might tip the odds in Potter's favour and continue a good start to the campaign.

The key for success?

In order to achieve the desired result - and performance - Potter will urge his team to emulate the desire and cohesion on display against Burnley in the closing stages.

The pressing proved Burnley's undoing and the tactical changes of course were crucial.

Again, Potter may need to make an adjustment or two on Saturday to unlock a capable defence but as the match fitness builds the squad will continue to thrive.

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Nullifying the enigmatic Ismaila Sarr will equally be influential on the outcome of the match, the swift Senegalese winger has emerged as a driving force behind Watford's success and opened his account for the season with a well taken goal against Villa. 

The head-to-head 

The two clubs spent three consecutive seasons together in the top-flight before Watford's relegation in 2020. 

It would appear that Brighton have a slight edge on their opponents during this period - with only one defeat, and two victories, in six fixtures against the Hornets. 

The only defeat at the hands of Saturday's opposition came in August 2018, at Vicarage Road, with Watford unable to secure a win in any of the three trips to Brighton: consisting of one loss, two draws. 

The verdict

With the respective teams eager to extend their positive start to the campaign, the evening kick off could unravel into a wonderfully enjoyable affair.

Watford will give it a go, and Sarr will be the talismanic focal point, but if Brighton can carry their second half form against Burnley into the match they will be confident in overpowering the Hornets.