During the last decade, the Eagles and the Hornets have been involved in some of the most important matches in both clubs’ recent history. Here, we look back at five crucial Palace victories over this weekend's opponents.
WATFORD 1-3 PALACE
30th March 2010 | Championship
Despite being in administration and the relegation zone, Palace were scrapping for their lives with just seven games to go, and gave their survival chances the power of good with this win that brought the Hornets dangerously close to the bottom three themselves.
In a game that saw Watford hit the woodwork three times, Stern John headed Paul Hart’s team in front against the run of play, before Sean Scannell scored from the rebound after his header came back off the post and Neil Danns slammed in a loose ball to seal a vital three points. Watford managed a consolation through Danny Graham before Lee Hills was sent off for a second bookable offence.
PALACE 3-2 WATFORD
9th November 2010 | Championship
The Eagles were rock-bottom when Watford arrived not long after CPFC2010’s takeover, but they found themselves ahead when Darren Ambrose curled home a fine effort on 18 minutes, however their lead was quickly swallowed up after the break when after Danny Graham had equalised, Jordon Mutch latched onto Troy Deeney’s backheel to turn the game on its head.
However, Eagles manager George Burley threw on youngster Wilfried Zaha and the winger made an immediate impact by cutting the ball back for Owen Garvan to slam home, who then added a fourth goal in an 11 minute-spell when he crashed home the winner from virtually the same spot to win the game.
PALACE 4-0 WATFORD
18th February 2012 | Championship
Watford arrived at Selhurst as the form side having taken 10 points from 12, while the Eagles had not won a league game in three months, but Dougie Freedman’s side dismantled their opponents. Wilfried Zaha fired home from close range on 22 minutes to begin the rout, then seven minutes from the break Chris Martin was allowed plenty of space to nod the ball home,
Early in the second half Palace increased their lead when Jermaine Easter teed up Martin for his second of the afternoon, and just after the hour mark Kagisho Dikgacoi squeezed the ball home under Scott Loach’s despairing dive at the near post to complete a rare thrashing.
PALACE 1-0 WATFORD (AET)
27th May 2013 | Championship Play-Off Final
The Eagles and Watford had reached the final by claiming dramatic wins in their semi-finals over Brighton and Leicester City respectively, and there would be plenty more nail-biting moments at Wembley in a tense affair with a spot in the Premier League on the line.
However, in the 105th minute Wilfried Zaha was sent tumbling to the floor by Marco Cassetti, and Kevin Phillips came back to haunt his former club by drilling the penalty into the top corner to register one of the most famous goals in Palace history. A last-minute goalline clearance by Joel Ward ensured Ian Holloway’s team returned to the top-flight for the first time since 2005.
PALACE 2-1 WATFORD
24th April 2016 | FA Cup Semi-Final
With both teams looking to end a long wait for an FA Cup final, they locked horns at Wembley once again to fight for a spot against Manchester United. Just six minutes had gone when Yannick Bolasie nodded Alan Pardew’s Palace ahead, however after the break it was Watford’s turn to celebrate netting a set-piece when Troy Deeney continued his fine scoring record at the Eagles’ expense.
Parity would only last six minutes though when Pape Souare delivered a towering cross into the area, and Connor Wickham leapt highest to get his head to the ball and divert it past Heurelho Gomes to send his team into the showpiece final.