UK time is: 12:38:57
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

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)




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

Grand National

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

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 25 2006

Time: 2:35PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
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
Report Abuse
26/04/2006 00:21:00

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
Report Abuse
26/04/2006 12:25:00

Preston appear to be the form team at the moment, so statistics say that they are the ones to fear.
FEn_100
Report Abuse
01/05/2006 14:14:00

i think each team is equal in there but think watford will do it.
jono_forest
Report Abuse
07/05/2006 19:37:00

Jono was right. Would you like to predict who is going up next season?
miked_joker
Report Abuse
22/05/2006 13:40:00

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Crystal Palace Articles

Archived Crystal Palace Articles

List All Vital Palace Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

Vital Members League (view all)

1. ANT FOS 3

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
9. West Ham 27 10 9 8 6 39
10. Stoke 27 11 6 10 -3 39
11. Newcastle 27 9 8 10 -10 35
12. Crystal Palace 27 7 9 11 -7 30
13. WBA 27 7 9 11 -9 30
14. Everton 27 6 10 11 -6 28
15. Hull City 27 6 8 13 -11 26

Breaking League News

Koeman On Confident Crystal Palace
» Southampton : 03/03/2015 12:27:00
Koeman - Five Wins For The Season
» Southampton : 03/03/2015 12:21:00
Aarons Explains Lengthy Lay Off
» Newcastle : 03/03/2015 12:07:00
Janmaat amp; Sissoko Ahead Of Manchester United
» Newcastle : 03/03/2015 12:00:00
Everton can concentrate on winning Europa League
» Everton : 03/03/2015 12:00:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Southampton v Palace
Suggested By:  Palace Admin
Palace win 40%
Southampton win 23%
Draw 30%