Crystal Palace v Watford Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions

Crystal Palace v Watford match preview image

Premier League Crystal Palace v Watford

Crystal Palace logo Watford logo

Saturday, January 12, 2019


Selhurst

Punter's Pick

With both teams likely to be cagey and combative throughout, it is likely to be a game littered with cards. Bet365 are offering 5/6 on over 3.5 cards *, which is something that has comfortably come in during their last two fixtures.

Watford come into this fixture off the back of a fairly regulation FA Cup victory over minnows Woking, with their last premier league outing being a thrilling 3-3 draw away at Bournemouth, in which they managed to throw away a 2-0 and 3-2 lead. With only two league wins in their last eleven games, hopes of pushing for the coveted seventh place spot behind the ‘big six’ seemed to have faded, and a comfortable mid-table position and extended cup run would seem to be the extent of their ambitions in the second half of the season.

That run has also coincided with a surprisingly leaky defence, something not normally associated with the Hornets, with just one clean sheet achieved in their last eleven games. This is something that will encourage Crystal Palace as they go in search of a rare London derby success. Their last win against a London rival came in a 2-0 win over Fulham in August.

Palace themselves had lower league opposition to negotiate in the form of Grimsby Town in the FA Cup, and despite playing against ten men for the vast majority of the game, needed a 86th minute winner to go through to the next round, highlighting a lack of firepower. Goals generally have been a problem for the Eagles, with Luka Milivojevic leading the way with six goals this season, with five coming from the penalty spot. In the absence of the injured Christian Benteke, Andros Townsend leads the way for Palace’s attackers with five goals so far this season. Palace will surely be looking for reinforcements in the transfer window after a deal for Dominic Solanke failed materialise.

The Eagles come into this clash in slightly better form of the two – a landmark 3-2 win over Manchester City being one of three wins out of seven games enjoyed in December, followed by a professional 2-0 win over a talented Wolverhampton Wanderers side last time out. Palace are certainly looking upward rather than towards the relegation spots, having opened up a six point lead on Southampton, who currently occupy the last of the relegation places.

Both sides are likely to revert back to their strongest line-ups after resting key players in their respective FA Cup ties. For Palace Alexander Sorloth has been shipped out on loan to Gent for the remainder of the campaign, hardly surprising given his return of just one goal in sixteen appearances this season. Everton’s Oumar Niasse has strongly been linked with a loan move to Palace all week, but a deal is unlikely to materialize in time before Saturday’s game, leaving Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend to again spearhead the attack.

Watford have also been active this week in moving on a squad player, with Italian striker Stefano Okaka sent out on loan to Udinese. Goals have not been as big a problem for Watford as they have for their opponents (30 in 21 games compared to 19 in 21 for Palace). They have generally been spread around, with Troy Deeney leading the way with six goals so far this season.

The recent form suggests Palace should feel confident of their chances of taking all three points from this clash, but the continuing absence of a focal point in attack remains a thorn in their side. Watford will seek to take inspiration from their 2-1 success over the Eagles in the reverse fixture back in August, where the win over their London rivals was the third on the bounce as part of a four game winning sequence to start the season on a flyer.

Punter's Pick

With both teams likely to be cagey and combative throughout, it is likely to be a game littered with cards. Bet365 are offering 5/6 on over 3.5 cards *, which is something that has comfortably come in during their last two fixtures.

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