Watford @ Crystal Palace – EPL Pick, Dec 12th

Welcome to my EPL Draw value soccer picks, where I’ll be looking to exploit the bookies with value plays for our readers. The Premier League action continues this Saturday afternoon and the next draw pick features an improved Crystal Palace outfit taking on Watford at Selhurst Park — Kickoff: 1000hrs (EST)

CRYSTAL PALACE

After enduring a miserable sequence of results in the Premier League which saw Crystal Palace earn just one win from the end of September through to early December, the hosts have managed to stage a much needed recovery in recent weeks.

Crystal Palace had recorded a 2-0 home win over Burnley during this very lean period which also included no fewer than seven defeats, but Manager Roy Hodgson has once again rallied his troops and they’ve responded in positive fashion.

The hosts have registered three league wins from their last five matches overall with victories over Leicester City, Manchester City and Wolves, along with picking up a point in what was a frustrating 0-0 draw with strugglers Cardiff City.

This improved turnaround of form have seen Crystal Palace climb away from the bottom three in the Premier League to a much more respectable looking 14th place and they hold a valuable six point cushion ahead of third from bottom club, Southampton ahead of this weekend’s top flight action.

However, the fact still remains that this season has seen Crystal Palace pick up more points away from home than at Selhurst Park, so there’s no guarantees of the hosts picking up all three points in this clash with Watford.

Home Form & Team News

Crystal Palace have picked up six league wins during their Premier League campaign this season, but only two have been recorded at Selhurst Park within a record of 2-3-5 5/9 with their two successes so far on home turf being a 2-0 win over Burnley and a 1-0 win against Leicester City.

The goals have dried up too as Hodgson’s men are the joint lowest goalscorers at home in the Premier League along with bottom club Huddersfield Town with just 5 goals to show for their efforts to date this season.

The lack of goals has been a major concern for Hodgson, the players and fans alike as Palace have failed to score in 7 of their 10 home matches so far this term with midfielder Luka Milivojevic (6 goals) leading their goalscoring charts.

Striker Christian Benteke remains a long-term absentee but otherwise Roy Hodgson should have a virtually fully-fit squad to choose from here. Forwards Andros Townsend (3 goals, 2 assists) and Wilfred Zaha (3 goals) are expected to flank striker Jordan Ayew up front today.

WATFORD

Watford have also produced an upturn in fortunes as the visitors have suffered just one defeat from their last six matches overall in the Premier League, which was a 2-1 loss at home to Chelsea.

Javi Gracia’s men have picked up recent back-to-back wins against Cardiff City and West Ham along with valuable points added to their tally with draws against Watford, Newcastle United and Bournemouth.

Watford’s recent improvement of results have helped lift The Hornets up into 8th place and are now just two points adrift of 7th placed Leicester City as we head into this weekend’s Premier League action. Another three points here could see Watford move into 7th spot.

The visitors now find themselves in the top half of the division in what has been a reasonably successful campaign so far this season for the London club, and with a significant 13 point margin ahead of the bottom three clubs, they can now afford to play in a more expansive style.

Watford will feel though that they can still improve upon their current away record and performances on the road.

Away Form & Team News

Watford’s current away record stands at 3-4-3 14/13 with a lack of consistency on their travels this term being a hallmark of their results to date.

That said, Watford have certainly made a significant improvement away from home in recent weeks as they’ve lost just once in their last five matches on the road – a 2-0 loss at Leicester City has been the only blemish in recent times on their travels.

Watford earned all three points with a 2-0 win at West Ham along with picking up points at Southampton, Everton and Bournemouth in 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 draws respectively.

Scoring goals away from home hasn’t been a problem for Watford either as they’ve failed to score in just 3 of their 10 away matches so far this season with the likes of midfielder Roberto Pereyra (6 goals) and striker Troy Deeney (5 goals) getting amongst the goals for the visitors.

Wing-back Jose Holebas (3 goals, 5 assists) has emerged as one of Watford’s most important players this term, as he’s been an integral part of Watford’s plans both in defence and attack but forward Andre Gray remains a long-term absentee.

Defenders Sebastian Prodl and Christian Kabasele are the other injury doubts for Watford manager Javi Gracia, but otherwise he also has a virtually fully-fit squad from which to choose for this fixture.

The Wrap-up

With both Watford and Crystal Palace showing significant improvements in recent times, these two teams seem very evenly matched. I therefore wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a draw today at Selhurst Park.

My Pick
Draw