Selhurst Park, Saturday 3.00pm
The Football League
Crystal Palace skipper Paddy McCarthy faces a late fitness test on a groin injury after he sat out Tuesday night's cup win over Exeter. Peter Ramage will keep his place at centre back if the Irishman can't make it.
Watford midfielder Sean Murray is doubtful of playing due to a calf injury, while former Palace centre half Fitz Hall is out with a knock. Stephen McGinn is sidelined with a knee injury and new signing Steve Leo Beleck is a doubt.
"I'm looking forward to the start of the season and I can't wait to get started. It feels like a long summer as we had nine weeks off. In the five or six weeks of pre-season, it can drag, so I'm looking forward to the game.
"I just feel our enthusiasm going into games, we'll be fine. We try to overachieve, and that's what we'll try to do this season.
“We want to bring some more players in, but it is very difficult for the club. We always lose out financially – there are teams like Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday who have come up and spent a lot of money. The teams that have come down have the parachute money.
“In a financial battle we are going to lose out, but we’re looking around to see what is best for the club and falls within our financial bracket.
“You’ll never see me complaining about how teams can spend money and just take your players away, like Nathanial Clyne. That is the name of the game. You just battle away and give your best under the financial disadvantage.
“There have been some shaky times over the past few years. Last year we cemented that we are a Championship side and to continue that has to be the aim.
“There is no magic wand I can wave and have two fantastic strikers that will score 30 goals each. Fans can have their say, but I have to be realistic.
“The most important thing is for us to get our house in order. Are we done signing players? I think not, hopefully, there will be some more coming in.
“It is not easy to get the right guys at the right time at the right price. But if we can get our house in order and then we don’t have to worry about the other teams.”
"I want to play centre-half - that's my favourite position. Sometimes versatility counts for you and against you. I do want to push for the centre-half berth but Paddy McCarthy and Aaron Martin are top-quality players.
"The three of us have a fight on our hands for those slots. If I'm asked to play right-back, left-back, central midfield or left-midfield then I'll pull on the shirt and give 100 per cent."
|Date||Type||Home Team||Score||Away Team|
|18/02/2012||League||Crystal Palace||4 - 0||Watford|
|15/10/2011||League||Watford||0 - 2||Crystal Palace|
|01/02/2011||League||Watford||1 - 1||Crystal Palace|
|09/11/2010||League||Crystal Palace||3 - 2||Watford|
|30/03/2010||League||Watford||1 - 3||Crystal Palace|
Watford 2-2 Palace
Friday February 08 2013
Watford: Almunia, Doyley, Hall, Pudil, Cassetti, Chalobah (Battocchio, 89), Hoban, Abdi, Hogg, Deeney, Vydra (Forestieri, 65)
Subs not used: Murray, Yeates, Bond, Eustace, Geijo
Goals: Abdi (6), Chalobah (14)
Bookings: Hall, Pudil, Cassetti, Chalobah, Deeney
Palace: Speroni, Ramage, Moxey, Delaney, Dikgacoi, Bolasie (Phillips, 54), Marrow (Williams, 46), Richards, Dobbie (Butterfield, 85), Murray, Zaha
Subs not used: Price, O'Keefe, Wilbraham, Parr
Goals: Ramage (66), Phillips (70)
Bookings: Marrow, Murray
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