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Match Previews

Preview: Watford vs Crystal Palace

21 April 2018

After gaining a huge win against Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend, Palace will look to move within touching distance of extending their five-season stint in the Premier League by claiming three points at Watford.

The win against the Seagulls moved Roy Hodgson's team onto 34 points for the campaign, meaning victory against the Hornets will see Palace climb above their opponents and edge closer to safety.

Hodgson will be buoyed by his team's recent displays on their travels, having picked up a win at Huddersfield Town and a draw against Bournemouth in their last two outings, scoring four times in the process.

Hornets stumbling towards finish line


Last season saw Watford lose their last six games of the campaign to freefall into a 17th place finish, but this time around their slump has seemingly begun a little earlier as they go into this game without a win in their last five matches.

Having started the campaign well by losing just once in their first eight, speculation surrounding Marco Silva's future affected results and by January he was shown the door, despite the club sitting in 10th spot. His replacement Javi Gracia claimed 10 points from his first five games that look to have secured the club's spot in the division, despite their recent sticky patch.

Last weekend saw them fall to a 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield thanks to a last-gasp Tom Ince strike, while in their last outing at Vicarage Road Burnley overturned a one-goal deficit to inflict Watford's first home defeat since December.

View From The Opposition

Javi Gracia

Javi Gracia: "We have to try to win the next game. I am speaking all the time the same but I think it is the best attitude for us.

"Try to get the next three points because we can see in the last games we have not been able to get them.

"I don't know if it's fair or sometimes unfair but we need to do it. We try to find the balance and make a good job defending and attacking. For sure we need to improve, defending and attacking as well."

Team News

Jason Puncheon

Palace: Jeffrey Schlupp (ankle) and Connor Wickham (groin) are missing, while Scott Dann and Bakary Sako will sit out the rest of the campaign. However, Jason Puncheon is back in light training again having been out of action since December.

Watford: Gracia currently has one of the longest injury lists in the league, with Gerard Deulofeu, Nathaniel Chalobah, Tom Cleverley and Younes Kaboul all definitely out of the game against the Eagles.

Jose Holebas and Andre Carillo both missed the Huddersfield game with knocks but should be available for the weekend.

Matchday Officials

Chris Kavanagh

Chris Kavanagh oversees just his second Palace game ever on Saturday, having refereed the 4-1 defeat against Arsenal in January. 

He has officiated 13 Premier League games this campaign, showing 43 yellow cards - seven of which came in Leicester City's 2-0 win over Brighton at the end of last month - and two reds.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistant Refs: Lee Betts and Peter Kirkup
Fourth Official: Bobby Madley

Matchday Stats

Troy Deeney

Watford are winless in their last six home meetings with Palace in all competitions (D3 L3), since a 2-0 Championship victory in February 2009.

The Hornets haven't lost consecutive home Premier League games since their last two in 2016/17, when they lost to Liverpool and Manchester City.

Watford have lost four Premier League games this season thanks to goals conceded in the 90th minute or later - the most by a team in a single season in the competition's history.

Wilfried Zaha has scored in his last two Premier League appearances - he's never previously scored in three in a row in league competition.

75% of Watford's Premier League goals against Palace have been scored by Troy Deeney (3/4), with the exception being Daryl Janmaat's strike in the reverse fixture this season.

Deeney has been directly involved in seven Premier League goals this season (5 goals, 2 assists), with all but one of those coming at Vicarage Road (an assist at Swansea the exception).


  Watford wins Draws Palace wins
League 36 22 45
FA Cup 3 2 2
League Cup 1 1 1
Play-offs 1 1 1
Total 41 26 49

Matchday Information 

Vicarage Road

Tickets for Palace fans have sold out.

Coach travel will depart from Selhurst Park at 11.30am, costing £15 - book now

For information about visiting Vicarage Road.

Live Coverage

If you can’t make it to the Vicarage Road, there will be live commentary on Palace Player, for which a 24-hour pass can be purchased if you aren't an annual subscriber.

There will also be updates on Twitter, and highlights available on Palace TV from midnight on Sunday morning. 

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