Sebastian Prodl

PL Tuesday Preview: Tottenham hosts Brighton, Watford faces Southampton

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Thanks to results from Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea over the past two days, Tottenham didn’t lose any ground to its rivals despite its own loss early on Saturday.

Now, Spurs has a chance to earn points to secure another top four finish and keep one of its rivals out when it hosts relegation-threatened Brighton and Hove Albion. Watford, meanwhile, hosts a Southampton side with three wins in its last five games.

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Brighton and Hove Albion v. Tottenham — 2:45 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

This match should have just about everything as both sides will be desperate for all three points. Tottenham can take advantage of Arsenal, Man United and Chelsea’s failure to jump ahead or catch ground with a big win on the road, especially after the big win at Man City in the UEFA Champions League. Heung-Min Son showed that Tottenham fans won’t have to miss Harry Kane too badly as he recovers from another serious ankle injury, and Son will be expected again to score and have a big impact in the attack. The team received a boost as well, with Eric Dier returning to fitness and Hugo Lloris set to return to the lineup this week, if not this weekend.

Meanwhile, down in Brighton it’s been a different story all season. The Seagulls have just 34 points after 34 games, sitting just three points above the relegation zone. Before Saturday’s draw with Wolves, Brighton had lost four straight games in the Premier League and five in all competitions, including in the FA Cup semifinals against Manchester City. Now, with only the Premier League on its mind, Brighton can focus on finding an answer to its defensive and goalscoring woes. After a strong start, Glenn Murray hasn’t scored in seven games, and club-record signing Ali Jahanbakhsh has zero Premier League goals this season. Brighton will take one step closer to Premier League survival with a massive win over Tottenham. With Cardiff City facing Fulham this weekend, it’s crucial for Brighton to receive at least a point to maintain space between it and Cardiff.

INJURIES: Brighton and Hove Albion —  OUT: Davy Propper (hamstring), Anthony Knockaert (suspension). | Tottenham — OUT: Moussa Sissoko (groin), Harry Kane (ankle); DOUBTFUL: Harry Winks (groin); PROBABLE: Hugo Lloris (muscle), Eric Dier (illness)


Watford v. Southampton — 2:45 p.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold and NBCSports.com/Gold

While much of the Premier League drama focuses on the top four and the bottom three of the table, there’s quietly a very dramatic race for seventh place, which could still end up with a Europa League berth should Manchester City beat Watford to win the FA Cup (if Watford wins, only the fifth and sixth-placed teams would earn Europa League berths).

Watford is among a small group of four teams all within one point of another that could finish anywhere from seventh to tenth by the end of the season. Watford currently sits tied with Everton in seventh place and is looking for a third win in four Premier League games, though its last two wins were over Fulham and Huddersfield. One aspect Watford will have to work on in this match against Southampton is recording a clean sheet. Watford have conceded a goal in eight straight Premier League matches, their longest run this season without a shutout.

Southampton on the other hand are looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat against Newcastle. Like Brighton, Southampton is currently safe but still in a precarious situation, just five points clear of Cardiff and the relegation zone. Ralph Hassenhuttl has done a decent job in securing some breathing room for the Saints in his half-season at the club so far. If Southampton can replicate its form from its April 13 3-1 win over Wolves, in which Nathan Redmond scored a pair and even Shane Long found the back of the net, it will surely help towards Premier League survival. Also working in Southampton’s favor is that it has five wins, five draws and one loss in its last 11 matches against Watford.

INJURIES: Watford —  OUT: Troy Deeney (suspension), Jose Holebas, Tom Cleverley, Domingos Quina and Sebastian Prodl (all knee). | Southampton — QUESTIONABLE: Jannik Vestergaard (injury), Yan Valery (illness), Mario Lemina

PL Preview: Chelsea vs. Watford

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  • Chelsea are without N'Golo Kante, Victor Moses (both hamstring) and Danny Drinkwater (calf) is still absent.
  • Watford remain without Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Prodl (both thigh), plus long-term absentees Craig Cathcart, Nathaniel Chalobah and Isaac Success (all knee).
  • Watford have not won against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 1986, but the Hornets have won 10 points of a possible 12 on the road. 
  • Chelsea have lost three of their first eight matches this season. No team has ever lost this many of their opening eight matches and still won the Premier League title.

Watford heads south for another London derby with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. (Watch live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Hornets have had an amazing start to the season and currently occupy fourth place on 15 points, two points ahead of fifth-place Chelsea, which has lost two-straight Premier League games. The Blues have struggled without N’Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata and there have been reports of grumbles from the squad about dissatisfaction with Antonio Conte‘s training methods, but the Chelsea coach has brushed those rumors off.

Meanwhile Watford is coming off a confidence-boosting win last weekend against fellow Londoners Arsenal, and the club is looking to take down another big club for a second-straight week.

What they’re saying

Watford manager Marco Silva on his team’s start“I want everybody to be really calm. We did really in the first eight matches but it’s too early. We want to continue to work hard every day. Everything changes fast and you need to keep going and treat the next game as the most important. But of course I feel proud.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on being under pressure: “‘Do I feel the pressure? Every manager feels pressure, but I try to give all of myself into my job, so I’m happy when I go home because I know in every moment I give all of myself for the fans, the players and the club. In football you know anything can happen, but the most important thing is to work.”

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Prediction

Chelsea has its back against the wall but the team’s overall quality should be enough to see them through with all three points against Watford. The Hornets luck runs out in Stamford Bridge as Chelsea hold on for a late win. Chelsea 2-1 Watford

Chelsea 4-3 Watford: Changed champions entertain

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  • Terry scores early (video)
  • Gifts equalizer to Capoue
  • Blues make nine changes to XI
  • Batshuayi, Azpilicueta score
  • Fabregas gets classy winner

Stefano Okaka’s 74th minute goal looked to give Watford a surprising draw at much-changed Chelsea on Monday at Stamford Bridge.

But Cesc Fabregas found an 88th minute moment of class to give the Premier League champions a record-tying 29th win of the season in a 4-3 win. A win over Sunderland this weekend would set a new PL standard.

John Terry, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Michy Batshuayi posted Chelsea’s goals, as the Premier League champions moved their point total to 90.

Etienne Capoue and Daryl Janmaat also scored for Watford, which trailed 1-0 and 3-1 in the game. Watford remains 16th with 40 points.

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Azpilicueta, N'Golo Kante, and Eden Hazard were the lone regular starters in the XI, with Nathaniel Chalobah, Nathan Ake, and Kenedy handed rare starts in front of second-string keeper Asmir Begovic.

The class of Chelsea’s depth was on display early, with Willian — how is he not a starter? — burning down the right wing.

Willian curled an 11th minute free kick toward Nathan Ake, but Watford backstop Heurelho Gomes collected it.

Michy Batshuayi beat Sebastian Prodl into the box in the 21st minute, but the defender recovered to force a corner that turned into Chelsea’s opener. Terry rose

Watford leveled it within moments, this time victimizing Terry. Capoue nabbed his seventh of the season when Terry’s poor header went into the path of the Watford man, who headed past Asmir Begovic.

Gomes flew to punch a ball away from Hazard on a 29th minute break, calls for a penalty rightfully ignored by referee Lee Mason.

Hazard then came close to cooking the Watford defense when Willian sent a half-field arrow to the Belgian, who cut to the middle and saw his shot deflected just… though a corner was not given.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Defenders were on show, and Azpilicueta made it 2-1 in the 36th minute drilling a low shot through traffic to beat a diving Gomes.

Batshuayi nabbed a goal after the break from a similar spot on the field as his league-clinching winner from Friday. Kenedy’s shot deflected to Ake, who played square for Batshuayi to tap home. 3-1.

Yet another quickfire reply came from Watford, as Daryl Janmaat dribbled into the 18 and turned Ake the wrong way to pull the Hornets back to within one.

Azpilicueta had a chance to score a second off a Janmaat turnover, but Gomes pushed a low shot wide of the far post.

Okaka took advantage of confusion between Kurt Zouma and Terry to belt a Tom Cleverley pass beyond Begovic to make it 3-3 in the 75th minute. Conte responded by taking off Kenedy for Ola Aina.

The only goal remaining went to Fabregas. Kante won the ball, which wound up on the boot of Willian for a square pass that Fabregas snuck inside the post.

Prodl then saw a second yellow card in stoppage time to send Watford down a man.

Hull City 2-0 Watford: Heroic win for 10-man Tigers

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  • Niasse sent off in 25th minute
  • Markovic, Clucas score in second half
  • Tigers win fourth-straight at home
  • Hull stay two points above drop zone

10-man Hull City secured a miraculous win against Watford as Marco Silva’s men battled for over 65 minutes a man down and grabbed a vital three points in their battle against relegation.

After Oumar Niasse was harshly sent off in the first half, Hull regrouped and scored twice in the second half through Lazar Markovic and Sam Clucas with Watford wasting numerous chances.

With the win Hull stay two points above the drop zone, while Watford stay on 40 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Early on Hull’s skipper Harry Maguire made a real mess of a back pass but Watford failed to make the most of it.

The Hornets looked dangerous on the break in the first half as plenty of long balls were placed behind Hull’s defense.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Before half time Hull’s hopes of picking up three points took a massive blow as Niasse went in for a challenge with M’Baye Niang and referee Bobby Madley believed the Hull forward went in recklessly as he brandished a red card.

Eldin Jakupovic made a superb save to deny Sebastian Prodl from a corner and then Daryl Janmaat‘s shot was deflected over by his teammate Tory Deeney. Before the break Miguel Britos headed wide at the back post, then Maguire almost scored an own goal as glorious chances came and went for Watford.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half Hull unexpectedly took the lead as they soaked up pressure and then hit Watford on the break to go 1-0 up.

Kamil Grosicki‘s cross found Markovic and his header looked to have gone over the line but he made sure by smashing home.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Clucas then curled a free kick inches wide of the post as Hull searched for a second goal and soon after it arrived with a stunner.

The ball popped out to the edge of the box and Clucas chested the ball under control and sent a fine volley into the top corner to make it 2-0.

Watford 2-1 Burnley: Niang stars against 10-man Clarets

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  • Hendrick gets early red
  • Niang stars
  • Hornets leapfrog visitors

M’Baye Niang had a goal and an assist as Watford won again, this time a 2-1 win over 10-man Burnley at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Troy Deeney also scored after Burnley’s Jeff Hendrick saw red very early in the match. Ashley Barnes converted a late penalty for the visitors.

The win puts Watford 10th with 30 points, a point ahead of 12th place Burnley.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It took less than 10 minutes for Hendrick to change the match, flying two-footed into Jose Holebas for a straight red card.

It was 1-0 to the Hornets soon after, with Deeney continuing his step up in form by barreling a header home.

The advantage doubled before the break thanks to new Hornet attacker M’Baye Niang. The AC Milan product can be proud of his opener, and he also assisted Deeney’s tally.

Sebastian Prodl handled a ball near the goal line to give Burnley a penalty kick with under 15 minutes to play. Barnes finished the chance, and the Clarets had a bit of hope.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]