Crystal Palace v Watford: Holloway to lead Eagles to the promised land

27May 2013

England - The Championship


Andy Tongue thinks the Palace manager's play-off experience and self-belief will prove decisive at Wembley...


Monday May 27


Live on Sky Sports One


The Championship play-off is routinely described as the richest game in football and this year that tag will ring truer than ever. Not only is one game the difference between trips to Old Trafford and the Emirates and Huish Park and Oakwell but next year even the side who finish bottom of the Premier League will receive more than Manchester United did for winning the title this season. The stakes couldn't be much higher.


Crystal Palace

The Eagles were the underdogs against bitter rivals Brighton in the semi-finals but Ian Holloway got his tactics spot on in the second leg at the Amex, soaking up the home team's pressure and striking to devastating effect after the break. Expect to see a repeat strategy at Wembley. Wilfried Zaha's return to form with a brace in that game gives them a real cutting edge on the counter and offsets the loss of leading goalscorer Glenn Murray in the first leg of the semi-final with a serious knee injury. Holloway has been in the in the play-off final three times before and is sure to use all that experience to great effect in the build-up and on the day.



The dramatic finale to the second leg of their semi-final with Leicester will have many Hornets fans convinced it's their year but they were so close to crashing out. Matej Vydra found his scoring boots again with two vital games in that game while his strike partner Troy Deeney smashed home his 20th goal of the season to send Vicarage Road into raptures. The wide open spaces of the Wembley pitch ought to suit Gianfranco Zola's men and their attractive style of football but much will depend on how his young side react on the day.


Promotion 2012/13

Watford are favourites at 2.4 in the match odds market but that doesn't appeal. Having shown their street fighting credentials to come through the clash with Brighton you have to think Holloway's men are battle-hardened and ready to go all the way to reach the Premier League. Rather than back them to win over the 90 minutes though I prefer to take the 2.34 available for them to come out on top by hook or crook and win promotion to the Premier League.


Both Teams to Score

With two high-scoring games between the sides during the regular season more of the same is expected at Wembley. However, with so much at stake and Palace sure to look to keep things tight, I'm happy to go against the consensus and lay Both Teams to Score at 1.75


Recommended Bets

Back Crystal Palace to win promotion at 2.34

Lay Both Teams to Score at 1.75



Viewed 438 times

Keywords: Crystal Palace, Watford, Holloway, Eagles

Source: Betfair

Comments and Feedback

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment this article!

Register or log in to submit your comment.