Brighton will play their first home game of the season on Saturday (5.30pm), and they have the pleasure of the Sky Sports cameras being in attendance as they host Watford, who like the hosts were victorious on match-day one.
Despite going a goal down no sooner than the second minute of their match against Burnley at Turf Moor, it was a pleasing opening weekend for the Seagulls, who returned to the south coast with all three points. On the overall balance of play, it’s fair to say that their win may have been ever so slightly on the fortunate side, but they certainly didn’t deserve to lose. Based on possession, attacking effort and shots on target, if anyone was going to emerge victorious, then it was always going to be Graham Potter’s men.
There was also no shortage of smiling home faces at Vicarage Road last Saturday, as Watford beat Aston Villa 3-2. In their first game since returning to the top of the English football pyramid, the Hornets were quick out the traps, scoring two first half goals through summer addition Emmanuel Dennis, whose pace and direct approach should cause defences problems this term, and Ismaila Sarr, who like his goal-scoring teammate, isn’t short of speed. With that duo in their ranks, Saturday’s visitors should be a real threat on the break this season. Defensively, they are likely to experience their fair share of problems, as although they won, they looked far from secure at the back.
Visitors developing a taste for goals
It’s very early days, but if we look at Watford’s game last week, combined with a couple of their later pre-season efforts, then it’s not difficult to surmise that they’re going to be in for plenty of goal-filled games this season. Offensively, Xisco’s men looked a real threat during their opening game. They’ve got bundles of pace and power both on the wings and up top, while they looked well set up to hit on the break.
Unfortunately, they looked somewhat easy to break down defensively. It took Villa a while to find their feet in that game, but once they did, they didn’t find it tough to create openings. This could be a problem for the Hornets, who in two friendlies against Premier League opposition prior to the opening weekend conceded seven goals.
Hosts boast creativity
Graham Potter’s men weren’t the biggest scorers last season, far from it. In fact, only five teams scored less goals than the Seagulls. They did a little better at home in that respect, finishing the campaign as the 14th highest home scorers.
Where they did perform very well was in terms of creativity at home. Brighton finished the previous campaign with 31.5 expected goals for at The Amex. Only three teams created more expected goals at home last term, so it is fair to say that Sunday’s hosts can create chances. With the likes of Alexis Mac Allister and Leandro Trossard in their ranks, the hosts have the tools to open teams up and, though they didn’t score as many as they ought to have last term, with a player like Neal Maupay leading their line, they should score more than enough at home.
Go for goals in the betting
Ahead of Saturday’s tea-time clash, there are two bets that catch the eye. First up, we’ve got ‘Over 2.5 Goals’. It is obviously early days, but the performances of both teams during the opening weekend offered plenty to suggest that the pair can hurt each other this week, and the early prices may not reflect that accurately enough. They scored five between them on opening day, while neither kept clean sheets. Add in that Watford already look like a team that’s going to both score and concede plenty and a small play on at least three goals being scored in this fixture stands out as a viable option.
Secondly, ‘Brighton to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ appeals. As mentioned earlier, Brighton didn’t exactly fire on all cylinders in terms of goals scored last term, but they did finish the season off by notching three at home to both Newcastle and Man City, while they scored twice against Leeds in between those two matches.
Moreover, they scored twice last weekend, while their creativity is not to be questioned. The Seagulls averaged 1.66 expected goals for per 90 minutes at home last term, which is better than every team in the league apart from Man City, Liverpool, and Chelsea. Consider this in conjunction with how defensively open Watford were at times last week and a small play on Brighton scoring twice at odds of +105 makes plenty of appeal.
Our two betting tips for this preview are along the same lines. If you only want to bet on one of them then, going over 2.5 goals may be the way forward. These are our suggestions, at best odds:
- Over 2.5 goals @ 13/10 with Betfair.
- Brighton to score over 1.5 goals @ evens with BetVictor or Betfair.
- Latest Premier League betting odds from top bookies.
Compare Brighton vs Watford Match Betting Odds
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.