Watford v Crystal Palace: Eagles big price to fly away with the points
Dan Fitch can't understand why Crystal Palace are the outsiders against rock bottom Watford...
Watford 2.44 v Crystal Palace 3.30; The Draw 3.40 Saturday 7 December, 15:00
Watford need manager to save their season
Things could not be much worse for Watford right now. Bottom of the Premier League and seven points from safety, at the time of writing they are without a manager following the sacking of Quique Sanchez Flores last weekend.
Flores was dismissed after Watford threw away a lead to lose 2-1 at Southampton. He became the second manager that Watford have sacked this season after Javi Gracia was canned in September. Hayden Mullins took charge of the 2-0 defeat at Leicester in midweek, but it remains to be seen as to whether he'll still be in the dugout by the time that Crystal Palace come calling.
With Watford in such a perilous position, it is arguable as to how attractive they now are to the type of successful managers from Europe that they have gone for in recent seasons. Aside from the three-match reign of Billy McKinlay, the club have not appointed a British manager during the years of ownership by the Pozzo family, but they may be forced to turn to an experienced relegation 'firefighter' to try and save their season.
Whoever is in charge against Crystal Palace faces a lengthy list of injuries. Tom Cleverley, Jose Holebas, Daryl Janmaat, Christian Kabasele, Sebastian Prodl and Danny Welbeck all missed the trip to Leicester on Wednesday.
Great week for Crystal Palace
It says much for how tight most of the Premier League is, that Crystal Palace are now seventh in the table.
Two wins in the space of a week against Burnley and then Bournemouth, have seen Palace rocket up the league. They now trail fifth placed Wolves by just two points and have put a seven point cushion between themselves and the relegation zone.
Palace's 1-0 midweek victory over Bournemouth was particularly impressive for the fact that they were reduced to 10 men after just 19 minutes following the dismissal of Mamadou Sakho, when the score was still 0-0. To keep their opponents at bay for such a long time would have been an achievement in itself, so Jeffrey Schlupp's crucial goal was a very welcome bonus.
Sakho will miss this match through suspension. That could create a problem for Roy Hodgson as he has a number of injury worries in defence. Joel Ward is definitely out, while Gary Cahill, Scott Dann and Patrick van Aanholt are all doubts.
Hard to understand buzz around Hornets
Watford are the 2.44 favourites, with Crystal Palace at 3.30 and the draw at 3.40.
Even accounting for the fact that Palace have some selection problems in defence, it's hard to see how Watford can be justifiable favourites. The Hornets have only won one Premier League match this season (P15 W1 D5 L9).
It's a great price for Crystal Palace and depending on team news, definitely one to consider as a standalone bet. If you want to be cautious, Palace are 2.30 in the Draw No Bet market. It's hard to imagine you'll lose money on that one.
Low scoring match likely
Though Crystal Palace should win, it promises to be a tight victory. Four of their last five games have seen under 2.5 goals, which is available at 1.82.
The score at the break was 0-0 in four of those five matches, with the only exception coming against Liverpool who scored on the verge of half-time. With Watford's match with Leicester also goalless after 45 minutes, the 0-0 half-time draw could provide value at 2.86.