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Match Previews

Preview: Watford v Crystal Palace

26 August 2018

Palace head to Vicarage Road on Sunday lunchtime aiming to stretch their unbeaten run on the road to six games for the first time in the top-flight since the 1991/92 campaign.

The Eagles’ trips to Hertfordshire have been incredibly fruitful in recent years having not tasted defeat at the venue since February 2009 - a run of seven matches. In fact, the Hornets have only gotten the better of Palace on two occasions in the last 16 meetings between the sides at any venue.

First Team

Hodgson: New Boys “Very Impressive” And Ready For Selection

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The omens bode well for Roy Hodgson’s team, who will be looking to bounce back from the defeat to Liverpool on Monday night and continue their good run of form in the league. The Reds are the only club to have recorded a victory against the Eagles since March.

Watford aiming to maintain 100% start

Javi Gracia’s Hornets have started the campaign perfectly and go into this game with six points from their opening two games. A brace from Roberto Pereyra saw off Brighton and Hove Albion on the opening day, before they beat Burnley 3-1 last Sunday thanks to goals from Andre Gray, Troy Deeney and Will Hughes.

The feat is remarkable because it is only the second occasion in their history they have won their opening two games of a top-flight season, and helped put to rest the memories of their late-season slump last term under the Spaniard.

Only two of Watford’s summer signings have featured so far this term – Ben Foster and winger Ken Sema. They also completed the signings of Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona, defenders Marc Navarro, Ben Wilmott and Adam Masina and central midfielders Domingos Quina and Kwasi Sibo. The Hornets made a profit of £13.4 million during the window – only Newcastle United made more.

View from the opposition

Javi Gracia:

Games with Palace are always close and there's not many chances and I think this next game will not be different. We'll see.

"We'll try to keep our level, our style of play and playing at home with the support of our fans we feel better and we'll see."

Team news

Watford: Summer signings Wilmott and Deulofeu are likely to miss out through injury, while long-term casualties Nathaniel Chalobah and Stefano Okaka are back in training but still a few weeks away from contention.

Tom Cleverley and Younes Kaboul still face a lengthy wait to return to action with Achilles and metatarsal injuries respectively.

Palace: Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be missing through suspension after receiving a red card against Liverpool on Monday night, with Joel Ward or Martin Kelly in Hodgson's thoughts for the vacant right back position.

Pape Souare limped off during Friday's training session, and Scott Dann remains on the road to recovery.

Matchday officials

Anthony Taylor gets his third Premier League run-out of the season this weekend, having overseen Liverpool’s win against West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur’s victory over Fulham.

The Eagles have a mixed bag of results when Taylor has overseen their games, with six wins, five draws and eight defeats, with the last of those wins coming against Sunderland in September 2016.

Club News

Classic Clashes: Palace v Watford

26 August 2018

Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick & Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Stuart Attwell

Matchday stats

  • Watford have lost just once in their last nine Premier League matches at Vicarage Road, winning five and drawing three.
  • Palace are unbeaten in their last five Premier League away trips (W3 D2) – only Manchester City are on a longer run without defeat on the road (8).
  • Palace have won their last two Premier League away trips, not since August 2015 have they won three successive away matches in the competition.
  • Wilfried Zaha needs one more goal to become the Eagles’ all-time highest Premier League goalscorer (currently 23, level with Chris Armstrong).
  • Watford have scored just five goals in their last eight competitive meetings with the Eagles and four of these goals have been scored by Troy Deeney. Deeney also managed to net an own goal at Selhurst Park in March 2017.
  • The Hornets have scored five goals in their opening two Premier League games in this campaign, as many as they scored in their final nine games of last season.
  • Since a run of 10 consecutive top-flight away games without a goal, Palace have scored in 11 of their last 12 on the road – only failing to score against opponents Watford in April (0-0).


  Watford wins Draws Palace wins
League 36 23 45
FA Cup 3 2 2
League Cup 1 1 1
Play-offs 1 1 1
Total 41 27 49


Tickets and travel

Tickets for this game are sold out.

For Palace fans travelling to this match, there will be a severely disrupted timetable on train routes bound for Watford. There will be no trains at all running on the day between London Euston and Watford Junction, with details here of other routes but the disruption will mean extended journeys having to be undertaken. 

Palace are increasing coach travel for this game and bookings can be made in the Box Office at Selhurst Park or by calling 08712 00 00 71. 

Live coverage

If you can’t make it to Vicarage Road, then you can listen to the game live on our new Palace Audio service. Fans can buy a Season Pass for £39.99, a Monthly Pass (which auto-renews) at £4.49, or a 24-Hour Pass for a single matchday for £1.49. Click here to buy, and listen on the Palace app or desktop.

The game is live on Sky Sports in the UK. Click here for full global TV listings.

There will also be updates on Twitter @CPFC and on the official Palace app, and highlights available on Palace TV from midnight on Monday morning.

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