BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23:  Connor Goldson of Brighton and Hove Albion tackles Andre Gray of Watford during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Watford at Amex Stadium on December 23, 2017 in Brighton, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

3 Key Battles That Could Decide the Premier League Clash Between Watford and Brighton & Hove Albion

Watford play host to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon, as each side look to get their 2018/19 Premier League campaign off to a stupendous start.

Both clubs finished lower to mid-table last season, which is likely acceptable. Brighton reached the magical 40 points after their promotion from the Championship, and Watford steadied the ship in the season's second half after Javi Gracia came in for Marco Silva.

Hungry for a win at Vicarage Road, here's three key battles which could decide the outcome of the clash between Watford and Brighton:  

1. Etienne Capoue vs Fabian Gross

It would be too simple to suggest this is creator against destroyer, but Etienne Capoue will be given the responsibility of trying to put out any fire Pascal Gross attempts to start. 

Key men for their respective sides last season, the European imports will hope to replicate such form. Looking to Watford's Frenchman, Capoue has been fantastic since signing from Spurs. Likely to play in protector role for Gracia, Gross will be his first undertaking.

Brighton's German will be at the centre of his team's activity on Saturday. Linking play from back to front, the midfielder can spread out wide when needed, and also drive at goal. Gross will believe his intelligent movement on and off the ball can outfox Capoue.

2. Bruno vs. Ken Sema

Facing up against the Hornets recent signing is Brighton's experienced full-back Bruno. This will be a real test of the Spaniard's physical game, due to the fact Ken Sema is built like tank.

Likely not to use pace against his opponent, the Swedish wide midfielder will look to bully the Seagulls captain for ninety minutes. If Sema gets an inkling that Bruno isn't up for a battle, it could become a torrid afternoon for the 37-year-old.

Bruno will need to be focused in to stop Sema from causing damage, as he hopes to ruin the debut of Watford's new arrival at Vicarage Road. 

3. Lewis Dunk vs. Andre Gray

One of the major deciding factors on Saturday will be Andre Gray's ability to get around Lewis Dunk. Only scoring five Premier League goals last season, the ex-Burnley man will be very keen to kick off his 2018/19 campaign in the right way.

Lewis Dunk however, has become one of Brighton's most reliable assets. The defender played all 38 games in the English top division last term, and was tasked to keep many a world class forward at bay.

Chris Hughton will hope his man wins the battle here, knowing that one lapse in concentration for his centre back could allow Gray to send the home crowd wild.