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Crystal Palace vs Watford – Match Preview

When these two sides met at Vicarage Road last December it heralded the start of the Sam Allardyce era at Crystal Palace. The survival action plan arguably has taken longer to implement but with Palace now sitting 17th and more importantly out of the bottom three they can begin to start looking up the table and not perilously over their shoulder. Today it is the return fixture of the December draw as Watford make the relatively short trip to Selhurst Park.

There was no action for these two sides last week due to the F.A. Cup decimating the Premier League calendar therefore both teams will be itching to get back onto the pitch especially after Palace earning back to back wins. The first came at home to Middlesbrough, a feat which as of late means you only have to score once and the game is done but the next win away at West Brom a fortnight ago would have raised some eyebrows due to the fact that not many gave them hope of getting any form of positive result.

So with those back to back wins it looks as if the wheels of the great escape bandwagon are slowly turning in Palace’s favour. Can they make it three in a row as Walter Mazzari’s Watford side come to South London this Afternoon? Well Watford will not only be setting out to make sure that is not the case but also looking to bounce back from defeat to Southampton a fortnight ago. It’s rare that you score 3 goals at home and still lose but The Hornets suffered that fate against Claude Puel’s side.

Watford may be 13th in the Premier League but are still not quite assured safety just yet, the general consensus is that they are 3 wins away from securing their top flight status for next season but even with that relatively small target they cannot afford to rest on their laurels just yet. The fact that they shipped 4 goals at home will no doubt be of concern to manager Walter Mazzari and you could imagine that is something that they have worked on since the 7 goal thriller with Southampton two weeks ago.

Another slightly alarming fact will be the fact that they have only picked up a solitary point in their last three matches. A draw with West Ham has been sandwiched by defeats to both Manchester Untied and the aforementioned defeat to Southampton. The last thing that the club needs now is their form to dessert them at this time of the season, they slumped down the table last year but thankfully had enough in the bank for it not to be a concern.

It’s probably going to be the same scenario this season but they could do with getting some points on the board sometime soon just to alley any imminent fears. But with Palace coming into this game off the back of successive victories I think they are going to struggle so much so that I think Palace will have their tails up and be able to make it a hat-trick of wins to put a bit of daylight between themselves and the bottom three. A home win for me.

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