Premier League Preview – Watford
The last time Marco Silva visited Selhurst Park his then Hull City side were handed a beating by the Eagles in what was an important fixture before kick off.
It was the final confirmation for Palace that safety had been secured but for Silva, it saw him take Hull into the Championship in his first season at the club after putting up a brave fight.
There is no doubt that the Portuguese manager will have forgotten how his team were taken apart that afternoon and he will be hoping that things will be very different when he returns with his new club.
Watford have earned many plaudits already this season even though they have one of the worst defences in the league. They travel to South London with a growing injury list but an exciting starting eleven will be dangerous as many sides have already found out.
Palace head into the game after plenty of controversy surrounding another point gained against Bournemouth which has continued the recent good form. That being said, wins are needed and this is one fixture that the management and staff will be focusing on to secure a win which could move the Eagles out of the bottom three if results elsewhere are favourable.
They will have to do that without Frenchman Mamadou Sakho who has been more than a lucky mascot since first pulling on the red and blue. His early departure due a calf injury at the weekend means that he could face a number of weeks absent which is not good news for Palace as they have lost 14 out of 18 that he has featured in.
One man that will have the bit between his teeth is Belgian striker Christian Benteke for reasons we are all too well aware of.
CRYSTAL PALACE – Mamadou Sakho (calf), Chung-yong Lee (muscle) and Connor Wickham (knee) will miss out while Joel Ward (groin) is a doubt.
WATFORD – Kiko Femenia (muscular) and Miguel Britos (knock) are both major doubts. Will Hughes (hamstring), Stefano Okaka (calf), Isaac Success (knee), Nathan Chalobah (knee), Younes Kaboul (hamstring), Craig Cathcart (knee) and Tommie Hoban (knee) will not feature.
A single goal separated the two sides when they last met back in March at Selhurst Park and it was a Troy Deeney putting into his own net that ensured that all three valuable points went to the Eagles.
Who Scored man of the match – Joel Ward (7.5)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 18/03/2017 Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford
- 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
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 09/12/2017 Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth
- 02/12/2017 West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Crystal Palace
- 28/11/2017 Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Crystal Palace
- 25/11/2017 Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke City
- 18/11/2017 Crystal Palace 2-2 Everton
Last FIVE results for Watford;
- 09/12/2017 Burnley 1-0 Watford
- 02/12/2017 Watford 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- 28/11/2017 Watford 2-4 Manchester United
- 25/11/2017 Newcastle United 0-3 Watford
- 19/11/2017 Watford 2-0 West Ham United
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Abdoulaye Doucoure 7.23
- Wilfried Zaha 7.13
- Richarlison 7.19
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek 7.01
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Real Noroeste, America Mineiro, Fluminense
The 20 year old Brazilian joined Watford in the summer for a fee of £11.2million from Fluminense who he signed for in 2016 and made 42 appearances, scoring nine goals. He made his professional debut for America Mineiro in 2015 after coming through the youth set up and ended up making 24 appearances, scoring nine goals. To date he has yet to make his full debut for Brazil but has ten caps at under 20 level, scoring three goals.
Final league position – 9th
A top ten finish beckons for the Hornets this season if they can keep their form and concentration for the second half of the season which has seen them fade away in previous years. Marco Silva has impressed at Vicarage Road this season and while they have one of the worst goals conceded statistics in the division, they have managed to accrue a good number of points heading into the busy Christmas schedule.
- TEB prediction – home win
- The Watford Blog prediction (see link below) – draw
- Who Scored prediction – home win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 6/5
- Draw – 23/10
- Away – 12/5
- Both teams to score – 8/13