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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

07 December 2019 Venue Vicarage Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Palace Preview: Hayden Mullins leading Watford against former club Palace

6 December 2019

Crystal Palace are set for the short journey to Vicarage Road this afternoon, where they will face a struggling Watford currently led by former Eagle, Hayden Mullins.

The Hornets have endured a tough start to the season, made tougher when playing at home. Currently sitting at the bottom of the Premier League and under the guidance of caretaker manager Mullins, Watford are stuck in a difficult period.

The stats do not bode well for the Hornets, either, despite winning their first league match of 17 against Norwich City last month.

But those three points will provide little solace for the Hertfordshire club, who have failed to win at home in 11 attempts. In fact, Watford are the only top flight side not to have won a home game this season. Only once before have they played their first eight matches from the start of a league campaign without winning (nine in 1990-91 in the second tier). 

More encouragingly still, Palace have lost just once from eight league games at Vicarage Road - though that was in this fixture last season.

Palace’s away form will give fans confidence, too, with the Eagles winning nine of 16 away league games in 2019 - 56% of their efforts.

SEE ALSO: Phillips: No one was taking Palace's play-off penalty but me

With the south Londoners playing on the back of consecutive victories, the manager looking to stop them this week is Mullins: two-time Palace Player of the Year and holder of over 200 appearances in red and blue.

Mullins has faced Palace recently, but in his role as manager of the Hornets’ Under-23s. He faced Palace’s Development squad in mid-October to guide the visitors to a 0-2 victory. Over recent seasons, he has met with the Eagles on numerous occasions at this level.

Stepping up, Mullins has taken on Watford’s first-team after the sacking of Quique Sánchez Flores.

Hayden Mullins Palace sash.jpg

Did you know?

Watford are one of only two sides in the top four tiers of English football yet to reach double figures for goals (nine) this season, along with League One’s Bolton Wanderers (also nine). 

Tactical overview

The Hornets appeared rejuvenated against Leicester in a recent 2-0 loss. It was their only game so far under Mullins and they managed to keep a rampaging Foxes side from scoring for 55 minutes, after which the league’s top scorer Jamie Vardy bagged a penalty.

Watford looked comfortable in possession as they switched from a back five to a back four and played 4-4-2. Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu led the line up-front but were unable to end the Hornets’ trouble in front of goal this season, leaving Kasper Schmeichel largely untroubled.

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Team news

Roy Hodgson has revealed that Max Meyer has been unwell all week and is unlikely to feature in today's match. He said that Joel Ward may be out for up to six more weeks and that a scan on Patrick van Aanholt has revealed the Dutchman has a hamstring strain.

Discussing Gary Cahill and Scott Dann, Hodgson said: “I’m hopeful we’ll recover at least one [for today].”

Watford are hampered by a number of injuries, with Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverly, Christian Kabasele, Sebastian Prodl, Craig Dawson, Jose Holebas and Daryl Janmaat all unavailable against Leicester.

How to follow

Palace Audio

Palace supporters all over the world can listen to live audio commentary of every Palace fixture in the 2019/20 season for as little as £1 per game on the official club app, mobile internet or on desktop.

Fans can buy a Monthly Pass (which auto-renews) at £4.49 per month or a 24-Hour Pass (for a single matchday) for £1.49, by clicking here

Find out more about Palace Audio here

Social media

You can check out our Instagram story for eye-catching footage of all of the pre-match build-up and our official Twitter page will be bringing you up-to-the-minute match updates, stunning photos and more.

The official app

The official Palace app’s match centre is the place to be for everything you need during the Watford clash. With live stats and alerts, a running match commentary feed and lineups the moment they’re released as well as all an instant match report and post-match reaction from Palace TV, there’s no need to leave the app to follow the Eagles’ efforts.

Download our app for free here!

International fans

For fans following from abroad, have a look at our Worldwide TV Listings here. And if you're wondering where the nearest official fan club is to you, you can click here to find out.

Did you know you can become an International Member from just £45 and receive benefits such as guaranteed tickets for any home league game and exclusive live Palace TV streams for selected games? You can - by buying here!

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Match Reports

Three clean sheets in a week as Palace draw with Watford

7 December 2019

A resolute Palace fought with Watford in a hotly contested draw just outside of London, with neither Roy Hodgson or Hayden Mullins' sides able to find the breakthrough.

In Summary

  • Gary Cahill returns for the suspended Mamadou Sakho; Jeffrey Schlupp continues at left-back for the injured Patrick van Aanholt
  • Ismaila Sarr main threat for Watford in first-half
  • McArthur’s volley inside opening 10 minutes Palace’s best chance in first 45
  • Fierce first-half which saw three players cautioned and Wilfried Zaha receiving his usual focus from the opposition fans and players
  • HT: 0-0
  • Jaïro Riedewald replaced at half-time for Jeffrey Schlupp
  • Watford open second-half with a handful of chances, with a curled effort from Gerard Deulofeu the best of a bad bunch
  • Martin Kelly and Cahill make superb last-ditch defensive challenges to prevent Watford scoring
  • Andre Gray goes close from Watford counter-attack
  • FT: 0-0

A managerial change in the week, with a former Crystal Palace player in the dugout in Hayden Mullins, Watford welcomed the Eagles to Vicarage Road in buoyant mood as they looked for their first home win of the season.

The opening exchanges were dominated by the Hornets with Sarr causing a series of problems for the Eagles down Watford’s right-hand side. Firstly, a miscued header from James Tomkins saw Sarr get in and win a corner, that resulted in nothing.

Tomkins error.jpg

Sarr got in a couple more times down Palace’s left, however, Schlupp marshalled the situation well to force poor final balls from the Hornets’ club-record signing.

Schlupp Sarr.jpg

On nine minutes it was Roy Hodgson’s side who had the best chance of the game so far, despite Watford’s pressure, when a deflected Andros Townsend cross found McArthur unmarked at the back post. However, the midfielder couldn’t find the target with his controlled volley.

Watford responded to the clear-cut chance for McArthur with their closest effort of the opening 20 minutes, again Sarr the protagonist, with Cahill blocking the close-range effort well.

Sarr chance block Cahill.jpg

Wilfried Zaha began to find his way into the game as the Hornets crowd and players began to target Palace’s winger which provoked the amusing response from the away end of: “Did you cry at Wembley?”

Watford received their first yellow card of the afternoon, which had been coming, with Abdoulaye Doucoure penalised for a foul on Ayew on 33 minutes

Tensions continued to rise through a feisty first 45, with Zaha receiving a caution. Watford’s Craig Cathcart was not far behind Palace’s winger in finding his name in Martin Atkinson’s little black book for an overzealous challenge on Luka Milivojevic.

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Roy Hodgson made a half-time sub with Jaïro Riedewald replacing Schlupp at left-back, and it was a free-kick from that area of the pitch that brought Watford’s first chance of the second 45, however, Doucoure’s weak header was easily dealt with by Guaita.

Deulofeu then provided a more worrying test for the Eagles, despite his curled effort going wide of Guaita’s left-hand post, the penetrative run at the heart of Palace’s defence caused concern.

Hodgson made his second change of the game on 73 minutes with Townsend making way for Christian Benteke, as the game began to open up slightly with Zaha enjoying several moments of joy down Palace'a left against Kiko Femenía, which included a penalty shout against Christian Kabasele.

Zaha Kabasele.jpg

Watford's first changes saw Roberto Pereya make way for Andre Gray on 77 minutes, and then Doucoure leave the pitch for Nathaniel Chabolah one-minute later.

With every passing second the game became more and more open, with the expectation in all four stands that the final 10 or so minutes of the game could be a chance for either team to take the three points.

Palace's top scorer, Ayew, almost brought the opener with the striker's excellent footwork creating an opening down Watford's right-hand side of the penalty area and although the strike was well-hit, it rose above Ben Foster's goal.

Ayew Watford tussle.jpg

Moments later Watford broke which created a three-on-two in their favour: Sarr released Deulofeu who drove at the Palace box, before clipping to the backpost for Sarr to try and head home. However, Kelly retreated back well to contest the ball with Sarr who failed to score.

If Kelly's defensive moment was one of desire to get back then Cahill's tackle a few minutes later, with a last-dich on Sarr after Troy Deeney had put his teammate through, was the very definition of it. 

Both teams could've nicked a late winner courtesy of counter-attacks with Watford going close with Gray, and Palace countering via Zaha from a Watford corner before Capoue tactically-fouled the Eagles winger.

Ultimately, the game ended as it started, in what was a fiercely competitive 90 minutes, but the Eagles can be pleased with seven points and three clean sheets in a week.

Palace: Guaita, Kelly, Cahill, Tomkins, Schlupp (Riedewald 45), McArthur, Kouyate (McCarthy 83), Milivojevic, Townsend (Benteke 73), Zaha, Ayew.

Subs: Hennessey, Dann, Camarasa, Wickham.

Watford: Foster, Kabasele, Femenía, Cathcart, Masina, Sarr, Doucouré (Chalobah), Capoue, Pereya (Gray 77), Deulofeu, Deeney.

Subs: Gomes, Mariappa, Foulquier, Success, Hughes.

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Ticket News

Tickets for Watford v Palace now sold out

29 October 2019

Tickets for Crystal Palace's away game with Watford on 7th December are now sold out.

The club will be operating a waiting list for this clash, which can be joined here by Season Ticket holders and Paid Members with over 2,000 Loyalty Points.

You can also join the waiting list by visiting in person at the Box Office in Selhurst Park or by calling 08712 000 071.

Your next chance to see the Eagles play live is this Sunday against Leicester City. There are a small number of tickets remaining for this clash in both general admission areas and Premium Lounges. Find out more here!

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