Sports Betting Weekly

Brighton and Hove Albion v Watford

When: Saturday, 25 April 2015 @ 18:15 (FINISHED)
Where: The Amex Stadium
League leaders Watford enter the penultimate round of Championship fixtures this weekend knowing that their fate is in their own hands as they seek to take a giant step towards returning to the Premier League for the first time since 2007 with victory over Brighton.

Craig Cathcart’s strike against Birmingham City last week was enough to send Watford top of the table thanks to Sheffield Wednesday claiming a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth, but with third-placed Middlesbrough also just a point behind Slavisa Jokanovic’s side, now is not the time to lose focus.

Falling into the play-offs at this stage would be disastrous, especially with whoever it is that finishes sixth – be it Ipswich Town, Wolves or Brentford that sneak in – likely to do so on the final day of the season, meaning they’ll carry all the momentum and confidence into the crucial knockout fixtures.

The play-offs have certainly brought mixed emotions for Watford in the past. In 2006 they secured a place in the Premier League by defeating Leeds United 3-0 at the Millennium Stadium, but at Wembley in 2013 they lost to Crystal Palace 1-0 after extra time. Their recent form, however, suggests they want nothing to do with the play-offs at all this season, with the Hornets posting four wins from their last five fixtures – the sole exception being a 2-2 draw with Derby County, which came after Watford had to play most of the game with 10 men.

Their situation is in complete contrast to Brighton’s current plight, as despite the Seagulls finishing in the top six last season, this season they could only dream of being in Watford’s position and are now fighting to preserve their place in the second tier of English football after a woeful campaign.

Albion are six points clear of the drop-zone and are now looking nervously over their shoulder having lost four out of their last five matches, including defeats to relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic and Rotherham United. With their last two fixtures coming against Watford and Middlesbrough – both sides currently in the top three – it’s getting difficult to see where Brighton are going to get a point, let alone a win, and they could yet face an unenviable return to League One.

The bookies don’t fancy a Brighton win either, and Watford go into this game as strong favourites at 9/10 for victory as opposed to the 18/5 you can get on Albion or the 11/4 on the two sides drawing.

Watford’s Matej Vydra has two goals in his last four games and, as such, is priced as the 9/5 favourite to score anytime, while Brighton’s best chance of finding the net lies at the feet of Craig Mackail-Smith, who is listed at 28/11 to get on the scoresheet at any point.