Football Previews

Crystal Palace vs Watford predictions, team news & possible XIs

By Harry Edwards

Published: 11:06, 6 March 2020

Watford will be looking to build on their shock win over Liverpool when they travel to Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Nigel Pearson’s side were well deserving of their 3-0 victory against the champions-elect, the first team to beat Liverpool in the league this season.

But it will count for nothing if the Hornets cannot build on it in their fight against relegation, currently out of the bottom three only on goal difference.

They face a Crystal Palace side nine points and five places above them who have won their past two games and will want to bring Watford back down to earth. Can they do it or will Watford strike again? Read on for our preview, predictions, team news and more.

When is Crystal Palace vs Watford and where can I watch live?

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Selhurst Park

Date: Saturday, 7 March 2020

Kick-off: 3:00 PM (UK time)

TV coverage (UK): N/A

Last five meetings: Crystal Palace vs Watford

07 December 2019: Watford 0-0 Crystal Palace (Premier League)

16 March 2019: Watford 2-1 Crystal Palace (FA Cup)

12 January 2019: Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford (Premier League)

26 August 2018: Watford 2-1 Crystal Palace (Premier League)

21 April 2018: Watford 0-0 Crystal Palace (Premier League)

Aggregate Score: Crystal Palace (DLLLD) 3-6 Watford (DWWWD)

Ones to watch

Crystal Palace: Wilfred Zaha

Whenever Crystal Palace face Watford, Wilfried Zaha always appears to make the headlines, whether for the right or wrong reasons.

The Ivorian winger has built up a bit of the rivalry with Watford fans, and the club’s mascot Harry the Hornet. Harry won’t be at Selhurst Park but Zaha will want to have a good game.

In the previous match this season, a goalless draw at Vicarage Road, Zaha was targeted by the Watford players, being fouled six times in total, more than any other player. But he grew frustrated with the treatment at times and handed out his own share of rough tackles, proving he doesn’t go down without a fight.

Key stat: Wilfried Zaha has won 91 fouls in the Premier League this season, only Jack Grealish (122) has won more.

Watford: Roberto Pereyra

The only negative for Watford of their win over Liverpool was the injury to Gerard Deulofeu as he has been ruled out for quite some time.

Watford will need to ensure they step up to replace him in their relegation fight, and Roberto Pereyra will be key to that. Pereyra came on for Deulofeu last week but had a fairly quiet game with Ismaila Sarr running the show.

But he cannot let that be the case long term and needs to get involved, starting with the trip to south London.

Key stat: Roberto Pereyra has created on average 1.29 chances per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season.

Team news

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have confirmed Cenk Tosun’s return to parent club Everton after his season-ending injury. Mamadou Sakho and Jeffrey Schlupp have returned to training following injuries but their inclusions remain doubtful.

James Tomkins is out whilst James McCarthy is a doubt after going off with a hamstring injury against Brighton. Luka Milivojevic may return.

Predicted XI: Guaita; Ward, Dann, Cahill, Van Aanholt; Milivojevic; Ayew, McArthur, Kouyate, Zaha; Benteke.

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Gerard Deulofeu is expected to be out for five or six months after suffering an ACL injury in the win over Liverpool, joining Daryl Janmaat on the sidelines.

Roberto Pereyra is likely to replace him in the team as he did off the bench last week, in what might be the only change to Nigel Pearson’s winning side.

Predicted XI: Foster; Femenia, Kabasele, Cathcart, Masina; Hughes, Capoue; Sarr, Doucoure, Pereyra; Deeney.

Squawka prediction

Watford’s victory over Liverpool ended a run of five games without a win which had pulled them right back into the relegation zone. But the biggest question for the Hornets now is whether the Liverpool result was a sign of things to come or a last hurrah.

Crystal Palace will no doubt fancy their chances after wins over Newcastle and Brighton, the latter a big victory for the club in their derby. But, if Watford do use their Liverpool win as inspiration, they should have just about enough to grab all three points.

Scoreline prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford