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Mar 7, 2020 at 3pm UK
Crystal Palace
Ayew (28')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Watford - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Watford - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Watford, including team news and predicted lineups.
Sports Mole

Watford will be looking to build on last weekend's shock victory over Liverpool when they travel to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

The Hornets became the first Premier League team to beat Liverpool this season when they triumphed last time out, but Nigel Pearson's side are still 17th in the table, five positions behind Palace.

Match preview

Palace lost three straight matches to Southampton, Sheffield United and Everton before recording successive victories over Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion in their last two Premier League fixtures.

A poor start to 2020 saw Roy Hodgson's side go seven matches without a win, but they will enter Saturday's contest having picked up six points from the last six available.

It is difficult to say that the Eagles are completely out of the relegation mix, but they are nine points clear of 18th-placed Bournemouth and therefore it is difficult to imagine them being dragged into trouble.

Looking up the division, Palace are only four points off seventh-placed Tottenham Hotspur and would fancy their chances of rising up the table should they triumph this weekend.

Watford, as mentioned, will enter this match off the back of a shock 3-0 victory over Liverpool last Saturday. Not too much was expected of the Hornets heading into the clash, but Ismaila Sarr scored twice before Troy Deeney added a third against Jurgen Klopp's side.

Pearson deserves huge credit for giving the capital side a fighting chance of avoiding the drop, but they are level on points with 18th-placed Bournemouth and therefore far from out of trouble.

Even Norwich City at the foot of the table will feel that they still have a chance of avoiding relegation having picked up an impressive victory over Leicester City last time out.

Watford will surely believe that they have the firepower to cause Palace problems this weekend, although the Hornets have lost classy attacker Gerard Deulofeu for the rest of the season due to a serious knee injury.

These two teams played out a goalless draw when they locked horns at Vicarage Road in December, but Watford have won three of their last four meetings in all competitions.

Palace Premier League form: DLLLWW

Watford Premier League form: DLLDLW
Watford (all competitions): LLLDLW

Team News

Palace have seen on-loan forward Cenk Tosun return to parent club Everton as the Turkey international prepares to undergo surgery on a serious knee injury.

James Tomkins, Jeffrey Schlupp and Mamadou Sakho are all still on the sidelines, but James McCarthy has recovered from the hamstring problem that forced him off against Brighton and should start again.

Christian Benteke's recent form has been impressive, and the Belgian should keep his spot in attack.

As mentioned, Watford will be without Deulofeu for the remainder of the season after the Spaniard picked up a serious knee injury against Liverpool last time out.

Roberto Pereyra is being tipped to take Deulofeu's spot in the XI, but it could otherwise be the same side that started against the Reds, with Will Hughes and Kiko Femenia both making the side.

Daryl Janmaat is closing in on a return to fitness but is not expected to be involved this weekend.

Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Ward, Dann, Cahill, Van Aanholt; Zaha, Kouyate, McCarthy, McArthur, Ayew; Benteke

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Kiko, Kabasele, Cathcart, Masina; Capoue, Hughes; Pereyra, Doucoure, Sarr; Deeney

We say: Palace 1-1 Watford

These two teams shared the points earlier this season, and we are finding it difficult to separate them once again. We fancy a low-scoring draw at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

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