Defensive boost for Brighton as key defender ready to return for Watford clash

Brighton and Hove Albion received a defensive boost ahead of their vital Premier League clash against Watford at the Amex Stadium this Saturday.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 2:43 pm
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 1:41 pm
Brighton head coach Graham Potter will likely have defender Shane Duffy available for Saturday crucial clash against Watford

Experienced defender Shane Duffy trained this week and could be available for selection against Nigel Pearson's Watford.

Duffy, 28, missed last Saturday's 3-3 draw at the West Ham following a minor operation to remove a blood clot from his leg.

The Irishman hasn't always been a regular this season but remains a firm favourite with the fans and many feel he is the ideal player for these tight relegation scraps.

Albion, who are just two points above the drop zone, have conceded six goals from their last two matches and have failed to keep a clean sheet in 2020.

Defender Tariq Lampty is settling into the squad well following his £4m transfer deadline day arrival from Chelsea, although the 19-year-old isn't expected to be involved against Watford.

Dan Burn is also making good progress from a shoulder injury sustained on new Year's Day against Chelsea but this Saturday is thought to be too soon for the 6ft 7in defender.

Potter said, "No injuries from the West Ham game, everybody came through that. Shane Duffy trained this morning (Thursday) which is very positive. Dan Burn is making good progress, we will see how he goes as well. And apart from that we will probably be the same group. Everyone has trained well today.

"We will take a decision on Tariq tomorrow. He trained with the guys. It is the first week for him, he is just settling in. We have many players available for selection and maybe this game is too soon for him."

Potter also has a selection dilemma up top with Glenn Murray, who signed an 18-month contract extension this week, pushing for another start following his goal scoring display against West Ham.

Neal Maupay, Albion's leading scorer with seven goals this campaign, was on the bench at the London Stadium and has not scored in his previous eight matches. He did however score against tomorrow's opponents Watford on the opening day of the season during Albion's 3-0 victory.

Solly March impressed from the bench against West Ham and is easing his way back to full fitness after a recent groin operation