Two sides that had played Championship football until recently took to the Premier League like a duck to water and they now find themselves tied on nine points and sitting in the top half of the standings. With both Watford and Crystal Palace flying high at the moment, we should see an entertaining encounter at Vicarage Road.
The heavy investment in the playing squad quickly paid off for the Pozzo family and links with Udinese and Granada are the reason why Watford squad is packed with players who have already tasted top flight football in some of Europe’s top leagues. And while the fans were certainly disappointed to see the back of Slavisa Jokanovic, the club management appears to have been spot on in their decision to appoint Quique Sanchez Flores as his successor. The former Valencia coach had his work cut out for him with so many new players arriving in the summer, but it would appear as though the squad rebuilding process is almost complete. The new boss has adopted a more cautious approach, but Watford continue to take part in entertaining games and they also have in-form Odion Ighalo harassing the opposition defenders. The Hornets head into the Crystal Palace clash in excellent spirits following back to back victories over Swansea and Newcastle, although they will be without Joel Ekstrand and Valon Behrami, who miss out through injury and suspension respectively.
If the first signs are anything to go by, Crystal Palace are on the road to become established Premier League club, with another top table finish on the horizon. Alan Pardew was spot on when saying that his side probably had the most difficult fixture list in the opening exchanges of all top flight teams, meaning that a record of nine points from six games definitely deserves respect. The Eagles suffered narrow defeats to Arsenal, Spurs and Man City, while beating Norwich, Aston Villa and Chelsea, and they have every right to hope for a positive outcome of Sunday’s game at Vicarage Road. The likes of Zaha, Puncheon, Sako and Bolasie offer both the pace and trickery to Palace attack and they are the reason why Alan Pardew’s side are so dangerous away from home. The Eagles should have plenty of space for counter-attacks when facing Watford and they will know how to get the most of the situation. The visitors have been buoyed by the return of Joe Ledley from a hamstring injury, but they have doubts over the fitness of Connor Wickham, Scott Dann and Damien Delaney.
Buoyed by successive Premier League wins, Watford can be trusted to adopt a positive approach, whereas we expect Crystal Palace to prove very dangerous on the break. We should, therefore, see some end to end stuff and both teams getting on the scoresheet.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 4/5
Bookmaker: William Hill
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