Palace go into the weekend still looking for their first Premier League win of 2016 and hoping to halt their alarming slide down the table as they welcome Watford to Selhurst Park.
Alan Pardew’s side have picked up just three points from a possible 24 since Boxing Day, with the former Newcastle boss hoping to avoid the ‘season of two halves’ which often played out during his time at St James’ Park, as his teams would be safe by Christmas before tailing off towards May.
Having started the calendar year dreaming of Europe, Palace have slipped to 12th; whilst they are nine points outside the drop zone as it stands, the unpredictable nature of this season’s Premier League could have them looking nervously over their shoulders before too long.
A win this weekend would change all that, with the South London club desperately in need of improving their home form; seven teams have come away from Selhurst Park with all three points this season, and no side has lost as many games as the Eagles on home turf.
Watford travel across the capital in indifferent form themselves having collected just five points from their last eight games, although that run has included playing Tottenham twice, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Quique Sanchez Flores’ side are clinging on to their place in the top half, but need their attacking duo of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo to rediscover their pre-Christmas form; they have scored just three goals between them since Boxing Day.
This fixture is a re-run of the Championship play-off final from 2013, and the visitors will be hoping for a more positive outcome having been edged out 1-0 thanks to an extra-time Kevin Phillips penalty on that occasion.
The hosts are expected to be without Joe Ledley and Yannick Bolasie for Saturday’s clash, with James McArthur and Jason Puncheon also unlikely to feature.
Uruguayan defender Miguel Britos is a doubt for Watford, who have no other injury concerns other than long-term absentee, Joel Ekstrand.
League Position: Crystal Palace – 12th (32 pts); Watford – 10th (33 pts)
Last Meeting: Watford 0-1 Crystal Palace (September 27, 2015)
Form: Crystal Palace – LLLLLD; Watford – LLLWDL
Key Players: Crystal Palace – Yohan Cabaye; Watford – Troy Deeney
Shoot Says: Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford