Sport Soccer

Sunday 22 April 2018

Palace boss Alan Pardew plots a way past the Watford defence

Dwight Gayle is in the frame to start for Palace against Watford
Dwight Gayle is in the frame to start for Palace against Watford

Alan Pardew will attempt to succeed where three other managers have already failed this season at Watford on Sunday.

The newly-promoted Hornets have yet to concede a goal at home this term, keeping clean sheets against West Brom, Southampton and Swansea.

Crystal Palace are next to have a crack, having ended their recent goal drought by thumping south London rivals Charlton 4-1 in the Capital One Cup in midweek.

Dwight Gayle's hat-trick against the Addicks has put him in the frame for a first Premier League start of the season as Pardew plots a way past the Watford defence.

"We hadn't scored in two games and we need strikers who score goals," said the Eagles boss. "Sometimes you have to experiment as a manager, we've got a good idea for this game that we think will work for us.

"Charlton was a difficult fixture, a local derby, and we were in control from start to finish and scored some good goals. Now we need to take that on to Watford.

"Watford have a good feeling at the moment, like us, so it's going to be a tough game.

"We have got good emphasis on delivering away from home, with a lot of pace in the team. But Watford haven't conceded a goal at home which is impressive in my book.

"The crowd there is fantastic, I was there for the West Brom game. It's a very tricky fixture for us.

"It's an important game for both teams; the winners will be on 12 points and in a good position in the league."

Palace will come up against Hornets skipper Troy Deeney, a player he knows well, and his in-form fellow striker Odion Ighalo.

Deeney has yet to get off the mark this season but played a big role in Ighalo's four goals and Pardew rates the duo as one of the best partnerships in the Premier League.

"I'm a big fan of Troy," he added. "I tried to sign him in the past and him and Ighalo up front are as good as any pair at the moment, so we need to be ready for that, and we need to find a way to score at Vicarage Road.

"They are very dangerous, with Ighalo coming off the left. They are two strikers in form, there is chemistry between the two and in the Premier League there is not a lot of that. But they have it, which is very fortunate Watford, they handle the division very well."

Pardew is hopeful defender Damien Delaney will be fit despite limping off against Charlton, but striker Connor Wickham is still out injured.

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport