Watford v Crystal Palace tips: Back Hornets to pile more pressure on Pardew
A Boxing Day win for Palace would lift the pressure on Pardew, however we don't fancy their chances
December 20th, 2016
Crystal Palace’s place in last season’s FA Cup final was no mean achievement for a side which finished just five points above the relegation zone, however the current campaign has been pretty disastrous so far with the Eagles hovering dangerously close to the bottom three in the Premier League.
With just one clean sheet in their previous 22 Premier League outings, one could be forgiven that things aren’t going too well down at Selhurst Park but try telling that to under-fire boss Alan Pardew.
“We’ve shown in the last two games what we’ve shown in the last year really,” he said to the media following the latest defeat to Chelsea at the weekend. “We’re committed and it was a strong performance, but they [Chelsea] didn’t give us anything. They are the first team we’ve not scored against for a while but they defended superbly well. It made it very difficult once we conceded that first goal. It was a shame because we had a couple of big chances in the first-half. This team is not getting what it deserves in my opinion and I think that will correct itself.”
Is Pardew correct in his observations? Perhaps the side are showing glimpses of improvement but it is uncertain whether the Eagles boss will be given time to build upon this. The South London outfit are on a dismal run of form and this certainly won’t have gone unnoticed by the club hierarchy, therefore it is hardly a huge surprise to see Pardew 21/10 to be next top-flight boss to be given the heave-ho, only Swansea’s Bob Bradley being at shorter odds.
Palace desperately need a win and they may be confident of managing one when they face Watford at Vicarage Road on Boxing Day. The Hornets have lost five of their last seven Premier League outings but they have been pretty solid at home with their most recent game at Vicarage Road resulting in a 3-2 win over Everton. The fact that they have won some thirteen points from their previous six home games should not be ignored and with the Eagles managing just eight points on the road this season, we’re leaning towards a Hornets victory at odds of 13/10.
Better value can be had by backing Watford to win and both teams to score at 15/4 with bet365 however. The Eagles have been stumbling along but they have been managing to score quite prolifically, their problems clearly being at the opposite end. Watford haven’t been the most prolific scorers but they shouldn’t have too many problems against a Palace defence which have conceded no less than 23 goals in their previous nine outings.
Christian Benteke is certain to test the home defence but our money will be going on Stefano Okaka to score at some point, the Italian being blighted with injury but scoring twice against Everton. Should he appear on Boxing Day he will cause the Eagles’ defence plenty of problems and he represents excellent value at 11/5 on the anytime goalscorer market with Paddy Power.