Four places but just three points between Watford and Brighton. This is a must-win game for Mad King Nigel.
Troy Deeney is a real football man.
What does those teams signify? For Brighton, Shane Duffy and Big Dan Burn return from injury to start in two of four changes from the side that drew 3-3 with West Ham. Ezequiel Schelotto comes in as full-back as the long-serving Solly March returns as Martin Montoya, Adam Webster, Bernardo and Dale Stephens drop out.
Watford have made just one change from the team beaten 3-2 by Everton. Nathaniel Chalobah drops to the bench with Will Hughes replacing him.
Simon Burnton spoke to a Watford player with a real – and harrowing – tale to tell.
Paul Doyle wrote this week about the new Brighton – not New Brighton, which is an entirely different matter.
Brighton: Ryan, Duffy, Dunk, Burn, Schelotto, Propper, Mooy, March, Gross, Murray, Trossard.
Subs: Maupay, Webster, Jahanbakhsh, Button, Bernardo, Connolly, Alzate.
Watford: Foster, Mariappa, Kabasele, Cathcart, Masina, Doucoure, Capoue, Pereyra, Hughes, Deulofeu, Deeney.
Subs: Gomes, Dawson, Welbeck, Chalobah, Gray, Holebas, Pussetto.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)
While much of the rest of the Premier League is sunning itself in Dubai, here’s a relegation six-pointer for you. Nigel Pearson’s new manager bounce has slowed a little and his team are second-bottom after two defeats. If he is to enjoy his solo walks up Snowdonia and Scafell Pike during his own winter break next week, he will want a win here and three points to pull Graham Potter’s Brighton back into the mire.
Brighton have rather quietly slipped back into trouble by not having won any of their last five matches, and they are in a worse position than they were this time last year under Chris Hughton, two points off the bottom three. There does, though, seem to be faith in the able and very likeable Potter and his Britpop tonsorial style. It will take time to change a team’s outlook and if Albion can survive, then the future may be bright beyond that.
Kick-off is 5.30pm, UK time. Join me.