Watford, like Norwich, were also relegated during the 2019/20 Premier League campaign and have returned the first time of asking. They finished runners-up in the 2020/21 Championship campaign under Xisco Muñoz playing a direct style of football with Ismaïla Sarr at the centre of their play.
The Hornets will be heading into the new season with a relatively settled squad; new signing Imrân Louza may break into the midfield to play alongside the likes of Will Hughes and Ken Sema.
Meanwhile, striker and captain Troy Deeney may have a more reserved role, as Brazilian João Pedro was the club’s second-top scorer during the last campaign. Summer signing Danny Rose will also add experience to the defence.
Manager Xisco has implemented a 4-3-3 system since his arrival in December. The Spaniard favours a single holding midfielder, typically Dan Gosling and two advanced midfielders such as Hughes or former England midfielder Tom Cleverley.
Leading goalscorer Sarr has featured prominently on the right flank, though he can play on the alternate side. In goal, the Austrian Daniel Bachmann should continue ahead of the veteran Ben Foster.
The Eagles have a good track record against Watford over the past few seasons, having won four of the last 10 games between the two sides - including the 2-1 victory in the 2016 FA Cup semi-final. Palace travel to Vicarage Road on Saturday, 18th December, and welcome the Hornets to Selhurst Park on Saturday, 7th May 2022. Additionally, the two teams met for a pre-season friendly at Selhurst Park last Saturday (7th August).