Monday, December 9, 2019

Prediction: Watford vs Crystal Palace

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 11/14

Bookmaker:  888sport

A look at the Premier League table can be quite deceiving ahead of the Saturday’s clash between Watford and Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road. Both sides appear to be edging away from the relegation zone but their survival hopes will very much depend on the outcome of this forthcoming fixture.

Watford

The Hornets are currently sitting in a relatively comfortable 12th place but with only three points above Crystal Palace and without a single win in their last five league matches, they are expected to put in their all to try and win the much-needed three points against Eagles.

Javier Garcia’s men last won on 3 March when they managed to dispatch the relegation-bound WBA 1-0, courtesy of Troy Deeny’s 77th-minute winner. The Hornets went on to concede three at Arsenal and five at Liverpool in a quick-fire double, before settling for a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth. Two more disappointments followed – against Burnley and Huddersfield last time out when Tom Ince’s late winner inflicted a heavy blow to Garcia’s men. As they prepare to welcome Crystal Palace, Watford will be hoping to end the poor run of results and turn their fortunes around when it comes to clashes against the Eagles. Watford are winless in their last six home games against Palace in all competitions and it’s a piece of the statistics that needs to be taken seriously.

Team News

Younes Kaboul and Gerard Deulofeu are struggling with ankle injuries and will be out of contention for the Saturday’s match.

Thomas Hoban and Nathaniel Chalobah are suffering from a knee problem, whereas Tom Cleverley in having a thigh issue.

Crystal Palace

The Eagles did move six points above the relegation zone after the pulsating 3-2 win over Brighton but their trip to Vicarage Road to face Watford might be crucial to Crystal Palace’s survival hopes.

The visitors might have history on their side when it comes to clashes against Watford but they will need more than luck and statistics in order to claim what will surely be three vital points. The in-form winger Wilfried Zaha will definitely be the one to watch at Vicarage Road following his impressive run of form of late. Zaha’s brace helped Crystal Palace secure a win of monumental importance last weekend and the 25-year-old winger will definitely hope to keep the bar high. Zaha scored three goals in his last two games, taking his total tally to seven Premier League goals in 25 Premier League appearances this season. He struggled with injury but is now fully fit and raring to go in order to help his team move even further away from the dropping zone.

Team News

Scott Dann and Jason Panchen are both suffering from a knee injury and will miss the trip to Vicarage Road.

Bakary Sakho and Jeffrey Schlupp are experiencing some ankle problems whereas Connor Wickham is out due to a groin problem.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Watford are winless in their last five Premier League matches
  • The Hornets last beat Eagles at home in 2009
  • Crystal Palace won half of their last 6 trips to Vicarage Road
  • Eagles however won only one of their last eight matches in all competitions
  • Wilfred Zaha scored three goals in his last two games for Palace

Conclusion

Watford are slowly starting to feel the pressure grow. The Hornets are winless in their last five Premier League matches and that is something they will need to change if they want to avoid some late drama. Crystal Palace are keen on the same thing and this could end up being a highly electric clash between two sides who need to lay it bare in order to claim three vital points.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 11/14

Bookmaker:  888sport

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