Premier League

Crystal Palace-Watford Preview

Another managerial change has done nothing to immediately change Watford's struggles.

The last-place Hornets look to avoid a fourth straight Premier League defeat whilst aiming to keep visiting Crystal Palace from winning a third consecutive match on Saturday.

Hayden Mullins' debut as interim Watford gaffer followed the same result as most of the others this term for the struggling team - a defeat. This time 2-0 to surging Leicester City during the mid-week. The Hornets (1-5-9) have been outscored 7-1 during their current three-game top-flight losing streak, and are still searching for their first home victory of 2019-20.

"We have to improve our football, our character," midfielder Gerard Deulofeu, who is tied for the team lead with two Premier League goals, told Watford's official website. "We can have lots of coaches and systems. But the most important thing is the players change our attitude and try to get points every week.

"We can't be nervous when we go on the pitch. For me, what we have to do is work hard because even to win one game in the Premier League is really tough."

As Watford continue their search for a permanent manager, the focus shifts to stopping Crystal Palace (6-3-6), who are trying to win three in a row for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

Jeffrey Schlupp has scored two of the three goals Palace recorded while beating Burnley and Bournemouth by a combined 3-0 scoreline in the last two games. Schlupp came through with a 76th-minute goal as the Eagles were down to 10 men in a 1-0 win over the Cherries on Tuesday night at Selhurst Park.

"I'm really happy getting another (goal) and it's extra special for the team to get back-to-back wins in the Prem," Schlupp told Crystal Palace's official website. "We started off the month well and we hope to continue that."

In doing so, the Eagles have fitness issues on their back-line. Patrick van Aanholt and Joel Ward are in question to feature, whilst Mamadou Sakho is suspended following his red card against Bournemouth.

Palace, however, should have plenty of motivation regardless who is on the pitch considering Watford did the double over the Eagles last season with matching 2-1 victories.

Reports out of the United Kingdom also continue to surface that Crystal Palace will allow veteran forward Connor Wickham to leave on loan in January, with Watford a potential suitor.

Updated December 5, 2019

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