Premier League Preview – Watford
Off the back of two successive Premier League wins against Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion, Palace will be looking for that run to continue with a win at home to Watford this weekend.
The return of six points from six has helped lift the Eagles out of the bottom three and another win will go a long way in the bid for survival this season.
In contrast, the visitors have experienced some erratic form lately but with 31 points from their 27 games played, the Hornets are just about keeping their heads above water.
Many will recall previous big match ups between the two clubs in recent years, particularly the FA Cup semi final last season and the play off final in 2013, which both saw the Eagles narrowly victorious.
Sam Allardyce will be hoping for more of the same, particularly after another week off which has allowed the squad to continue to bond while working hard on the training ground. There is no doubt that the players and staff will want to some way to correcting the poor form at home so far this season by building on the much needed win over Boro.
CRYSTAL PALACE – Mathieu Flamini (muscle) and Loic Remy (muscle) are both doubts while Patrick van Aanholt (ankle), Steve Mandanda (knee), Connor Wickham (knee), Jonathan Benteke (knee) and Pape Souare (leg) will all miss out.
WATFORD – Daryl Janmaat (groin) and Nordin Amrabat (ankle) are doubts while Christian Kabasele (hip), Mauro Zarate (knee), Ben Watson (groin), Costel Pantilimon (ankle) and Roberto Pereyra (knee) are unlikely to feature.
The last time these two sides met was Boxing Day in what was the first game in charge of the Eagles for Sam Allardyce. The early signs were bright as Yohan Cabaye put the visitors ahead going into the break and were good value for the lead. Unfortunately, Palace were unable to capitalise and Watford scored an equaliser from the spot courtesy of Troy Deeney.
Who Scored man of the match – Andros Townsend (8.1)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 26/12/2016: Watford 1-1 Crystal Palace
- 24/04/2016: Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford
- 13/02/2016: Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford
- 27/09/2015: Watford 0-1 Crystal Palace
- 27/05/2013: Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 04/03/2017: West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Crystal Palace
- 25/02/2017: Crystal Palace 1-0 Middlesbrough
- 11/02/2017: Stoke City 1-0 Crystal Palace
- 04/02/2017: Crystal Palace 0-4 Sunderland
- 31/01/2017: Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Watford;
- 04/03/2017: Watford 3-4 Southampton
- 25/02/2017: Watford 1-1 West Ham United
- 11/02/2017: Manchester United 2-0 Watford
- 04/02/2017: Watford 2-1 Burnley
- 31/01/2017: Arsenal 1-2 Watford
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Wilfried Zaha 7.44
- Christian Benteke 7.31
- Troy Deeney 7.00
- Jose Holebas 6.98
ONE TO WATCH
Previous clubs – Niort, Chauray, Angers, Toulouse, Tottenham Hotspur
The 28 year old began his youth career in 1995 at his home town club but did not make his professional debut until 2007 while at Toulouse. He went on to make 174 appearances, scoring 13 goals before signing for Spurs in 2013. After 24 appearances and just the one goal, the French international moved to Watford for £6.3million and has made 60 appearances to date, scoring 5 goals. The Hornets number 29 has represented France at several youth levels and made 7 full international appearances.
Final league position – 15th
The Hornets have been struggling to find any kind of consistency of late but wins at Arsenal and at home to Burnley has kept them clear of the dreaded bottom three. Like most sides, there are some difficult fixtures on the horizon but it is looking increasingly likely that boss Walter Mazzarri will ensure the Hertfordshire club will be in the Premier League club for another season. However, the all important question will be whether the Italian will be in charge particularly when you consider Watford have had six managers since Ginafranco Zola left in July 2012.
- TEB prediction – home win
- Adam Leventhal prediction (see link below) – draw
- Who Scored prediction – home win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 19/20
- Draw – 5/2
- Away – 3/1
- Both teams to score – 10/11