Best Odds: 12/5
The Premier League is back in our lives following the chaos that was FA Cup third round weekend, and that’s just a great position to be in. The division is really kicking into the next gear as we enter the second half of the season, and there are a lot of intriguing possibilities ahead for the remainder of the campaign. We’ll try and focus on one matchday at a time, though, with the game that we’re looking at today being contested by two sides who often struggle to build up any consistency: Crystal Palace and Watford.
The Eagles finally seem to be finding their identity under Roy Hodgson, which is something they were seriously lacking for quite some time. They’ve got a solid squad full of genuine match winners, and with just three goals conceded in their last six games, they’re clearly doing something right defensively. Of course, getting the job done in an attacking sense in a different story. Pushing for a place in the top half seems like a genuine possibility now as opposed to just a fantasy, and if they can achieve that, they’ll have a tonne of confidence moving forward as a squad.
Sorloth’s departure ensures that Palace have even fewer attacking options, with Pape Souare being set to miss out for a while courtesy of a shoulder injury. Ayew is expected to feature too.
Watford are still considered to be dark horses to finish in one of the Europa League spots, but we tend to believe that will be a step too far for them. Even so they’ve had a really strong season, and the important thing for them is going to be locking down a regime that works. Instead of chopping and changing behind the scenes all the time, they need to focus on improving the squad and building a real unity within the club. They seem to be on the right track towards doing that, which can only be a good thing.
Penaranda will likely be dropped back down to the bench, as many of Watford’s top stars continue to return from injury.
Factors to Consider
- The game will be played at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park.
- Crystal Palace have won four, drawn one and lost one of their last six games.
- Watford have won three, drawn two and lost one of their last six games.
- Crystal Palace lead Watford 49-42 with 27 draws.
- In their last meeting back in August, Watford won 2-1.
These are the kind of teams that pop up with bizarre results left and right, but either way we should have an entertaining game on our hands. Palace will try and use their more explosive players to really get in the face of the Hornets, who have the kind of gritty determination necessary to push this game all the way until the final minutes and keep it competitive. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this one end up in a draw, with both teams getting on the scoresheet and both teams giving a good account of themselves.
Best Odds: 12/5
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