Brighton’s impressive run of results in Autumn are just a distant memory now as the South Coast outfit have failed to win a Premier League fixture in their last seven attempts, today they will be hoping that it does not become a win after eight when they play host to Watford
The Hertfordshire club are in no real position to gloat though as they themselves have failed to win any of their last five league outings. They may have managed to keep hold of manager Marco Silva after Everton’s attempts to bring him to Goodison Park but there is no doubt that it has had a destabilising effect on the Hornets.
Not only that but there is also the added irony that since Everton have appointed former England boss Sam Allardyce have gone above Watford in the Premier League table, with the latter now finding themselves in 10th while the Merseyside outfit are now ninth.
You also have to wonder if we are once again seeing the start of the Watford winter slump, we have seen it happen in the last two seasons where a relatively bright first couple of months is then followed by an alarming plummet down the table.
A plummet which has then ultimately gone on to cost whoever is in charge their position as Watford boss. If Watford do crash into the bottom half of the table then the stock of Marco Silva will depreciate also and the Pozzo family are certainly not scared to pull the trigger if need be.
Last weekend Watford were heavily beaten by Huddersfield at Vicarage Road as David Wagner’s men ran out 4-1 winners. Something of an upset on paper but Watford have lost their early season swagger and not only that but indiscipline is starting to creep into the ranks also.
Watford captain Troy Deeney was sent off against Huddersfield and has now subsequently managed to get the whole Christmas period off after he was handed a four match suspension. Whether this was a premeditated plan by Deeney I’m sure only the cynics would agree.
As for the home side Brighton they did at least manage to bring an end of three successive defeats to a end last weekend with a draw at home to high flying Burnley but at the same time it really should have been three after Glenn Murray’s miss from the penalty spot.
The Seagulls currently find themselves 13th in the table so there is no cause for concern just yet, but you only have to look at both Newcastle and West Brom who have gone on longer runs without a win to know that your form will catch up with you eventually and ultimately the table does not lie.
Also you need to take into account the fact that Brighton have only scored 14 goals this season, the lowest of all the teams outside of the bottom three and also the third lowest scorers in the division as a whole, again there is only so long that a lack of firepower can be withstood.
The thing that is working in their favour is the fact that although they are not scoring with an alarming regularity they are not shipping goals by the bucketload either, by the same token they have actually conceded the fewest goals in the bottom half of the division.
But for all their relative defensive plaudits they need a win more than anything else as their buffer between themselves and the drop zone is only three points at the start of the Christmas period and there is every possibility that could get further eroded.
For both teams it is a must win but also it is a do not lose, I think these two teams will end up cancelling each other out though with the game ending in a draw. A result that neither Brighton or Watford will have truly wanted but not one they will turn down either.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) December 21, 2017