Vital Football

Latest Crystal Palace News

Watford, Leeds or Preston?

Watford, Leeds or Preston?

'The playoffs are upon us. With Saturday’s final set of fixtures all but academic Ben Cullen assesses the merits of Watford, Leeds United and Preston. First up in this three part feature is a look at the team from Vicarage Road.'

Now that we know the four teams that will be taking part in the Championship playoffs the obvious question is what is the best draw for the Eagles? Previous results suggest Watford, over whom Palace did the double, but they are also the best team of the four according to the league table, which famously “never lies”. Conversely this logic implies that playing Preston would be the Eagle’s worse case scenario as Palace played them four times this season in the Championship and FA Cup but didn’t manage to beat them once. So what are the strengths and weaknesses of the playoff teams and which is the team to avoid?

Watford

P 45 W 22 D 14 L 9 Pts 80

Top Scorer: Marlon King 21

Form: WWDDLL (8pts)

Watford are the most attacking team in the playoffs having scored 75, ten more than the next highest scorers, Palace. The Hornet’s goals have come from a number of sources with King’s strike partner, Darius Henderson and 20 year old midfielder Ashley Young both having scored over ten goals in the league. Manchester United loanee Chris Eagles scored from the half-way line against Brighton this season and ex-Leeds man, Matt Spring has scored eight from central midfield.

Defensively, however, Watford are weaker and have conceded 54 in the league, more than any of the other playoff candidates. Whilst this may be down more to their style of play than a serious lack of quality at the back it will be vital that Watford’s strikers perform to carry them through. With King coming back from a two game suspension for their final regular season game against QPR the team should be firing on all cylinders coming into the playoffs. The only concern for Watford fans may be their poor form over the last six games as Bothroyd has taken the chance to rest a few of their key players once they could no longer hope to catch Sheffield United. Although wins against Ipswich and Hull have addressed this somewhat.

Many still regard Watford as outclassed by the other playoff teams and they haven’t beaten any of them this season despite thrashing Sheffield United 4-1 during a purple patch over January/February time. Watford’s combination of poor form and slightly porous defence make them my first choice for Palace to face in the semi-finals. Their lack of experience on the big stage should also count against them. Watch out though, if the match becomes a goal-fest Watford could be hard to out score.



This article was written by Ben Cullen (greatneb@hotmail.com)

Grand National

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:
Date:Tuesday April 25 2006
Time: 2:35PM

Comments

0
Statistics can mean anything you want. If i was the manager i'd say - Bring em all on. We'll play our way and let them worry about us.
FEn_100
26/04/2006 00:21:00
0
i think watford and leeds are equally as strong but with johnson in the side you can never rule out palace. if they get a penalty anyway!
vertigo_red
26/04/2006 12:25:00
0
Preston appear to be the form team at the moment, so statistics say that they are the ones to fear.
FEn_100
01/05/2006 14:14:00
0
i think each team is equal in there but think watford will do it.
jono_forest
07/05/2006 19:37:00
0
Jono was right. Would you like to predict who is going up next season?
miked_joker
22/05/2006 13:40:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Crystal Palace Articles

The Crystal Palace Walking Wounded - Injury Table

Our weekly update looking at the injury table for Crystal Palace and also comparing with all our competitors in the Premier League.

Pardew Gets Parish Vote Of Confidence

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has handed manager Alan Pardew a vote of confidence this week saying that his job is 'totally safe' despite the recent run of form.

Match Day Officials v Hull (10/12/16)

The Premier League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Hull City this weekend.

Tomkins Relief After Southampton Win

Tomkins has spoken of his delight at Crystal Palace's win against Southampton on Saturday, which the former West Ham defender helped us to a clean sheet in as well as scoring a goal.

Archived Vital Palace Articles

Vital Palace articles from

Site Journalists

Eddy Eagle
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Southampton MotM
Suggested By:
Hennessey8%
Tomkins6%
Dann2%
Delaney44%
Ward0%
McArthur8%
Ledley0%
Townsend0%
Puncheon13%
Zaha4%
Christian Benteke13%
Sub - Sako0%
Sub - Kelly0%
Sub - Flamini2%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Chelsea 14 11 1 2 34 21
2 Arsenal 14 9 4 1 31 19
3 Liverpool 14 9 3 2 30 17
4 Man City 14 9 3 2 30 15
5 Spurs 14 7 6 1 27 14
6 Man Utd 14 5 6 3 21 3
7 WBA 14 5 5 4 20 3
8 Everton 14 5 5 4 20 1
9 Stoke 14 5 4 5 19 -3
10 AFC Bournemouth 14 5 3 6 18 -3
11 Watford 14 5 3 6 18 -6
12 Southampton 14 4 5 5 17 -2
13 Middlesbrough 14 3 6 5 15 -2
14 Crystal Palace 14 4 2 8 14 -2
15 Burnley 14 4 2 8 14 -11
16 Leicester City 14 3 4 7 13 -7
17 West Ham 14 3 3 8 12 -14
18 Sunderland 14 3 2 9 11 -10
19 Hull City 14 3 2 9 11 -18
20 Swansea 14 2 3 9 9 -15
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Crystal Palace Results (view all)

Crystal Palace Fixtures (view all)

Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Hull City (a)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 14 2016 8:00PM : Manchester United (H)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 17 2016 12:30PM : Chelsea (H)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 26 2016 12:30PM : Watford (a)
Barclays Premier League
Jan 1 2017 4:00PM : Arsenal (a)
Barclays Premier League
Jan 3 2017 8:00PM : Swansea City (H)
Barclays Premier League
The Vital Football Members League