Hornets and Eagles Meet in the FA Cup

    15 Mar 2019 | FA Cup | Preview
    Hornets and Eagles Meet in the FA Cup

    The first of the FA Cup quarter-final matches to be played this weekend sees Watford welcome Crystal Palace to Vicarage Road.

    Both teams have reached an FA Cup final but neither has ever won the trophy, so there is huge incentive heading into this game.  You must go back to 1984 to find the last time Watford reached the final and they lost 2-0 to Everton.  Crystal Palace have appeared in two FA Cup finals, with the latter being 2016 when they lost to Manchester United.

    Watford come into this game having lost 3-1 at Manchester City in the Premier League last weekend. They fielded a much-changed team and did well in the first half but a controversial goal early in the second half saw them quickly fall away to lose the game.

    That was their second defeat in three games but in truth, they could not have asked for tougher away fixtures, with the other loss being 5-0 at Liverpool.  Sandwiched between the two defeats Watford defeated Leicester City 2-1 at home in the Premier League.

    The Hornets have been tough to beat at home recently, losing only one of their last six games in all competitions at Vicarage Road.  There have been wins over Cardiff City, Everton and Leicester City plus draws with Newcastle United and Burnley.

    This will be the first home game Watford have played in the FA Cup this season.

    Unlike their opponents, Crystal Palace are still not safe from relegation in the Premier League this season and they went down 2-1 at home to Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend. That makes it two defeats in their last three games having also recently lost 3-1 at home to Manchester United.

    While most teams hope for a home draw in the FA Cup, Crystal Palace might be happy to play away as their recent away record is better than their home record.  Trends show the Eagles have remained undefeated in their last four away games in all competitions, including a 2-0 win at Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup.

    Crystal Palace have lost just one of their last seven on the road and have defeated Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City and Burnley in the process.  Crystal Palace have scored 2 or more goals in six of those seven away matches.

    Looking ahead to the team news and Watford have no injury suspension concerns ahead of this game.  Expect to see many changes from the team which started at Manchester City, with the hosts a full strength.

    Crystal Palace are still without central defender Mamadou Sakho and full-back Pape Souaré.  Connor Wickham is a doubt but the visitors should also be close to full-strength for this match.

    We should be in for a great game with Watford looking strong at home recently but Crystal Palace looking good on the road.  Having enjoyed a rest last weekend, the freshness of Watford could prove to be the difference and the hosts could come out on top in what should be a very close game.

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