The Seagulls, who have won just one of their last six, should be opposed at home to Watford, says Andy Tongue...
Brighton v Watford
Saturday 29th December 17:20 GMT
Two sides who enjoyed Boxing Day off meet at the superb Amex Stadium in the early evening Championship clash. The hosts saw their clash with Millwall played a week earlier on police advice, while the Hornets' trip to Bristol City was rained off. This pair have produced some of the division's most attractive football this season and viewers will be hoping for a Christmas cracker.
The Seagulls are handily placed bang in the middle of the group of sides jostling for a play-off spot and currently sit only three points off sixth place. Just five defeats is the joint fewest in the league (along with Crystal Palace) but 10 draws, more than anybody else, is the reason they are not even higher and no doubt the main source of frustration for manager Gus Poyet as he sat down to his Christmas dinner this year.
Craig Mackail-Smith is Albion's main man in attack (10 goals from 19 appearances) but arguably should have more given the number of chances they have been creating.
Gianfranco Zola's men have been one of the surprise packages of the season, playing a fluid 3-5-2 formation, which has been particularly effective away from home and they currently sit in sixth, having played a game less than the sides above them.
Striker Matej Vydra grabbed both goals in the 2-0 home win over Nottingham Forest last Saturday to take his total for the season to 10. Teenager Nathaniel Chabaloh, on loan from Chelsea, has caught the eye of many an observer in his role sitting in front of the back three and is a name we'll surely hear plenty more of in the coming years, while striker Fernando Forestierif, who could return after a hamstring injury, is one to watch for his skill on the ball but also his tendency to go to ground all too easily.
Watford are unbeaten in their last four games including trips to Burnley, Blackpool and Leeds and playing away from home clearly suits their footballing philosophy under Zola. However, Albion don't lose too many despite having already drawn six times at home this season so while tempted by the 3.711/4 for an away win, the best strategy looks to be a lay of the home side at 2.111/10.
Two of Brighton's last three games have ended two apiece and Watford's positive style leads to plenty of chances both for and against when playing away from home so backing Over 2.5 Goals should pay dividends.