Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford: match preview

Brighton are in need of a win and this could be a perfect opportunity. Watford’s early lustre under Marco Silva has faded; they have lost four of their past five – seven of their past 10, looking further back – and among today’s long list of absentees is the influential Abdoulaye Doucouré. Chris Hughton must make one change himself, with the centre-back Shane Duffy suspended, and the home side will hope to build on last weekend’s good showing against Burnley in their bid to avoid a harsh winter. Nick Ames

Kick-off Saturday 3pm

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via Football | The Guardian

Mark Hughes warns Stoke that sacking him may not change club’s fortunes

• Stoke manager under pressure before West Brom visit on Saturday
• Defeat and poor performance would likely end Hughes’s tenure

Mark Hughes has warned that sacking him and appointing a new manager will not necessarily improve Stoke City’s fortunes, as the club’s hierarchy continue to assess his future, with a home defeat and another underwhelming performance against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday likely to lead to Hughes being unemployed at Christmas.

Stoke, 16th in the Premier League and just one point above the relegation zone, have taken just one win from their last eight matches. David Moyes, who replaced Slaven Bilic at West Ham United last month, led his team to a 3-0 win over Stoke last Saturday but Hughes has dismissed the boost a new manager would have on his struggling side, suggesting that the grass is not always greener. “Initially you get a manager bounce, but usually when you look at the stats it doesn’t make a great difference,” Hughes said at his pre-match press conference.

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via Football | The Guardian

Watford’s Sebastian Prödl: ‘I’m interested in furniture, interiors and especially kitchens’

The Austrian centre-back comes from a family that specialises in football and producing kitchens. He discusses his love of design and London, his fears for the Premier League and Watford’s battle to avoid ‘goblins’

The Prödls have two family businesses. The first, started in Styria two generations ago by Josef Prödl, has become a successful producer of high-end kitchens. The second is football. Sebastian Prödl is Watford’s player of the season; his brother, Matthias, played in Austria’s lower leagues but retired last year; a cousin, Viktoria Schnaderbeck, plays for Bayern Munich and captains Austria’s women’s team; another cousin, Jason Kicker, is a 20-year-old goalkeeper trying to make his way into the professional game; and a third was on the books of a top-flight team in Austria as a youth before injury ended his career.

“I really don’t know how it happened,” Sebastian Prödl says. “We always think about it and talk about it. Maybe when we were young we played together and it started like this?”

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via Football | The Guardian

Lionel Messi pips Cristiano Ronaldo to reclaim place at top 100 summit

No one has got close to the phenomenal pair for six years but Neymar, Kevin De Bruyne and Kylian Mbappé are lurking on a remarkably strong 2017 list

And so Lionel Messi returns to the top. After finishing second to Cristiano Ronaldo last year he reclaims first place in the Guardian’s top 100 male footballers list for 2017.

Related: The 100 best footballers in the world 2017 – 100-11

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via Football | The Guardian