The second of this weekend’s FA Cup Semi Finals sees Premier League outfits Crystal Palace and Watford battle it out at Wembley. With Alan Pardew’s side’s recent uplift in form, it is the Eagles that go into this tie as 20/27 favourites with ComeOn! to qualify whilst the Hornets, who impressively disposed of Arsenal in the previous round can be backed at even money. In preparation for Sunday’s match-up, we preview all the action and try our best to find some betting value in the process.
Last night’s Manchester United defeat aside, Palace have done much to arrest a slump in form that at one point looked like threatening their Premier League status this season. Just six weeks ago it was their beleaguered boss Pardew who admitted his side were in a relegation battle following a disappointing defeat to West Brom at the Hawthorns.
Credible draws against Everton, West Ham, Arsenal and a win against Norwich this month however have steadied the ship at Selhurst Park and with an FA Cup final in the offing, Palace’s disappointing season could yet still be salvaged should they get the result they want this weekend.
For their opponents Watford, a similar dip in form in the closing stages of the season shouldn’t take the shine off what has been a very successful club for the Hertfordshire club in their maiden season back in the top flight. In Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney the Hornets possess an attacking duo that can cause even the sturdiest of Premier League rearguards problems on their day and as a result have defied many pundits who were tipping them for the drop at the start of the season.
Crystal Palace: There’s good news for Palace with Yannick Bolasie expected to return from the knock he sustained against Arsenal last weekend. Defender Scott Dann is also expected to return but Dwight Gayle and Marouane Chamakh will remain sidelined this weekend.
Watford: Tommy Hoban and Rene Gilmartin remain the Hornets’ two most notable absences for Sunday’s clash.
Where does the betting value lie?
We expect the tempo of this match to be nothing less than frantic. Both respective sides have ‘pace to burn’ on either flank and as a result we wouldn’t be surprised to see the goals fly in on Sunday should the likes of Jason Puncheon and Deeney be allowed the space to get in behind both defences.
At a juicy price of 4/1 we can’t see past backing Palace to win and both teams to score this weekend.
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