Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
Crystal palace and Watford round off the preparations for the new season with a friendly encounter in Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.
Patrick VieiraThe side took a 3-1 win at Reading in their last exhibition game, while Watford took a 4-0 win over Doncaster Rovers.
Prediction for this match
Cheikhou Kouyate may have been forced to do the Walk of Shame against Reading with just 31 minutes on the clock, but the royals’ numerical lead didn’t pay off when the 10-man palace won 3-1 at the Select Car Leasing Stadium last Saturday .
Mainz 05 players on loan Jean-Philippe Mateta opened the scoring from the penalty spot John Swift Parity restored for the hosts, however Jordan Ayew and Scott Banks both hit the net in the last 10 minutes, giving Palace their third win of the summer.
The Eagles also won 1-0 away to Walsall and Ipswich Town, but their only pre-season pre-season clash at Selhurst Park ended in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, so there’s clearly no better time for Vieira to get a marker and secure a first home win before the Premier League resumes.
While Palace’s on-field heroics give cause for optimism, off-field transfer activity is where some of the Eagles’ success stories, believed to have their eye on a move for Arsenal, were born Rip Nelson already added Conor Gallagher, Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi and Michael Olise to their ranks.
Meanwhile, Watford’s relentless preseason plan has seen Xisco MunozThe team played eight games in three weeks, and the busy schedule seemed to strain the players after four games without a win before visiting the Doncaster Rovers during the week.
The Hornets had drawn against West Bromwich Albion and Stevenage on either side of their Brentford and Arsenal defeats earlier this summer, but were convincing 4-0 winners against Doncaster Peter Etebo, Troy Deeney, Dan Gosling and Ashley Fletcher make the network ripple.
Munoz’s side made a strong return to winning ways at Burton upon Trent – in addition to their three consecutive preseason wins against Millwall and Colchester United (2) last month – and the clash with Palace provides one final opportunity for tweaking and experimentation before their first Premier League game of the season against Aston Villa.
The newly promoted team held Palace to a 0-0 draw on Vicarage Road during the 2019/20 Premier League season, but the Eagles took a 1 in March 2020 – two weeks before the first coronavirus lockdown – thanks to Ayew’s first: 0 victory – half of the effort.
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Vieira is optimistic that star attacker Wilfried Zaha will remain part of his era in the Palace, but the Ivorian – along with Christian Benteke and Jeffrey Schlupp – missed a minor injury on Reading.
Zaha could recover from the blow in time to play a role this weekend, but Vieira is reluctant to take any risks while Kouyate’s final pre-season red card is irrelevant.
Eberechi Eze continues long recovery from his devastating Achilles injury while new signing Olise is reportedly under investigation ahead of his side’s league opener against Chelsea.
As for Watford, newcomer Emmanuel Dennis had to be replaced by a trialist 57 minutes after his side’s clash against Doncaster and the striker will certainly not be risked in this final game of preparation if Munoz can help.
Experienced goalkeeper only Ben Foster kept his place on the team for the full 90 minutes last time, but Daniel Bachmann could be given a few minutes here after his return from Euro 2020.
Crystal Palace possible starting line-up:
Guaita; Clyne, Guehi, Kouyate, Mitchell; Riedewald, Gallagher, McArthur; Banks, Mateta, Ayew
Watford possible starting line-up:
Support financially; Femenia, Troost-Ekong, Kabasele, Rose; Etebo, Cleverley, Gosling; Sarr, Deeney, Sema
Probability: Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford
Watford has struggled to compete with Premier League opponents so far this preseason, although it would be foolish to read too much into these results as the teams mix the field significantly in the middle of the game.
A hesitant proposition could be in store as both sides try to avoid a loss of confidence in their final preseason games, but we can see Vieira’s redesigned palace is just about to wrap up this competition.