Watford can consider themselves lucky to be playing the final against Crystal Palace, after barely qualifying in a highly contested double legged semifinals. Leicester won the second leg by 1-0, but the goals scored by Watford in the first leg in the seventh minute of overtime proved decisive. If they are to book a place for the Premier League, they will need to close the gaps existing in the defense, something easier said than done with three key players missing due to injuries.
Crystal Palace has just one player unfit to play, but replacing Glenn Murray is a tall order for a team who grew to depend on this striker. He is the top scorer and although coach Ian Holloway will send three strikers upfront, none of them has the same uncanny ability of scoring from impossible situations. In other news, Crystal Palace is an excellent defensive team and every goal they score weighs heavily in the balance as they are experts at preserving even the slightest advantage.
The head to head record suggests that the two teams are evenly matched, with both of them winning most points in front of their fans. The recent games were all high-scoring ones, with the most convincing victory for Crystal Palace being a 4-0 triumph in February 2012. They drew 5 of the last 10 games and ever since Glenn Murray was sidelined their offensive struggled to score, adding pressure on the defense.
By contrast, Watford is a more flamboyant team who appears to be more concerned about scoring one more goal than their opponents. Just one of the last 10 games ended in a draw but they had a hard time in keeping a clean sheet even in those matches that they’ve eventually won. The 3-5-2 starting formation shouldn’t deceive punters, because despite the appearances, Watford will be the more aggressive team.
Several teams in the Championship division kept their dreams of promoting to the Premier League alive until the very last month, but only Crystal Palace and Watford are still in the race now. Leeds and Blackpool were among the favorites but they fell flat weeks ago, soon after the decisive match previewed at http://www.ukfootballpages.com/the-final-chance-for-the-premiere-league/.
Punters should realize that the value is with Crystal Palace tonight, and if they want to make this championship final more interesting, it is worth backing them. Given the fact that they are prone to push games into overtime and fancy the idea of a draw, the wisest bet would be the Moneyline wager or the Lift the Trophy bet at odds of 2.20 with most bookmakers.