Poyet set to tackle former team-mate Zola

Gus Poyet
Gus Poyet played with Gianfranco Zola at Chelsea. Photo: PA

Brighton boss Gus Poyet is hoping to move into the automatic promotion places in the Championship with a victory over Gianfranco Zola's Watford.

The pair are close friends following their time together at Chelsea in the 1990s and they go head-to-head in the Championship on Tuesday night.

Poyet has seen his side lose only once in the opening five games and the Seagulls are currently third in the table with only goal difference keeping them out of the top two.

The 44-year-old Uruguayan has spent time with Zola of late and anticipates a good game of football when the two sides meet at Vicarage Road.

"He (Zola) knows what he wants from his team and what he wants to achieve," Poyet told Brighton's official website.

"It's nice when you spend time with someone who is really convinced about the best way to play football.

"We both want our teams to play good football but we both want to win as well. It will be interesting on Tuesday night but at the end of the day it's about the players on the pitch."

Former West Ham manager Zola took charge at Watford during the summer after the club was purchased by the Pozzo family and Poyet reckons his old friend will need time to make things work.

Watford have picked up six points so far but have lost four of their last five matches in all competitions.

"The job that he's doing is one that needs a bit of time because it's a big change and a totally different environment," he said.

"He's starting from zero and he will need time like any other job where you start from zero, just like mine here."

Table toppers Blackburn will be looking to keep hold of top spot when they welcome Barnsley to Ewood Park.

The Tykes have lost both away games in the league so far this season and Blackburn have been showing good form in front of goal to fire themselves into first place.

Record signing Jordan Rhodes bagged a brace in the thrilling 5-3 win over Bristol City on Saturday and revealed he is enjoying playing alongside experienced forward Nuno Gomes.

The Scotland international said of Gomes: "He had a really good game and he was a joy play to alongside.

"He can see things and does things that are just incredible at times, it can take the breath away."

Rovers boss Steve Kean has injury doubts over Markus Olsson and Gael Givet after both suffered knocks in the weekend win.

Barnsley's last game saw them draw 1-1 at home to second-place Blackpool, who will be hoping Keith Hill's side can do them a favour tomorrow.

The Seasiders host Middlesbrough looking to maintain their 100 per cent home form so far this season with top spot very much in the sights of manager Ian Holloway.

Steve Bruce has guided Hull to fourth place in the early weeks of the campaign but his side will face a stern test when they travel across Yorkshire to take on Leeds at Elland Road.

Peterborough, still without a point so far, host Bristol City knowing that even a victory will leave them rooted to the foot of the table while Birmingham will be looking to pull themselves out of the bottom three at home to Bolton.

Elsewhere Cardiff travel to Millwall, Crystal Palace face Nottingham Forest and Derby host Charlton.