Watford’s key duo Deulofeu and Peraya hope to be fit for Brighton opener

Gerard Deulofeu (Getty)
Gerard Deulofeu (Getty)

Question marks remain over the involvement of Watford’s key duo Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra ahead of Saturday’s Premier League opener against Brighton.

Watford boss Javi Gracia is hopeful that both players will play some part in the game, but has admitted they may not be at their best.

“We have some players out with little problems but I think all of them will be ready for the next game” he said.

Pereyra only returned to training last weekend after playing in Argentina’s Copa America squad. Gracia thinks he will be able to compete but “not at his best level” on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Deulofeu hasn’t featured since the first half of Watford’s friendly against Bayer Leverkusen on July 20. The Spanish striker reportedly has a muscular problem.

Gracia spoke after Watford’s win last Saturday and hoped that Deulofeu, the club’s top scorer last season, would return to train with the team from today.

Watford have won three of their pre-season friendlies against Real Sociedad, Bayer Levekusen and QPR, and only posted one loss to Ajax.

They finished 11th in the last season’s Premier League and were runners up at the FA Cup.

Saturday’s game will be a repeat of last season, when Watford started the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Brighton at home.

Brighton have also only lost one of their pre-season friendlies to Fulham, otherwise beating Valencia, Liefering, Crawley Town and Birmingham City.

The Albion will be starting the Premier League with a new manager and new signings.

Graham Potter has become the club’s new boss after a year managing Swansea City, completing transfers of defender Adam Webster from Bristol City, striker Neal Paupay from Brentford and Leandra Trossard from Genk.

It is rumoured that Brighton are trying to sign Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater before the transfer window closes.