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A battle of the counter-attacks as Pardew’s Palace take on Watford

25 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
A battle of the counter-attacks as Pardew’s Palace take on Watford

The former Newcastle boss has turned the Eagles into one of the division's most exciting sides, but the Hornets can hurt them on Sunday

The shambles that has engulfed Newcastle United since he departed the club has probably left Alan Pardew feeling pretty smug about himself.

It is not an unreasonable suggestion considering the success that Pardew has enjoyed so far at Crystal Palace and, of course, his penchant for sporting a pleased-with-myself disposition.

The former Newcastle manager has every right to do so.

Not only have his previous club plummeted since his resignation at the end of last year, but his current employers have become one of the Premier League’s most exciting sides since he took over.

The creativity of Yannick Bolasie, Jason Puncheon and, as of this summer, Yohan Cabaye has enabled Palace to play with the same conviction and vigour that Pardew displays on the touchline and in front of the TV cameras.

That all-or-nothing approach is both successful and entertaining.

In the 54-year-old’s 29 games in charge, the South London club have only drawn once.

But having lost their last two top-flight matches – suffering one-goal defeats to Manchester City and Tottenham respectively – there is a requirement for three points at Watford on Sunday to ensure the momentum Pardew has created is not curtailed.

The Eagles’ renowned counter-attacking threat certainly lends itself to playing away from home.

They have won eight of their 11 league games on the road under the former West Ham boss and are 15/8 to make that nine from 12 at Vicarage Road.

But that will not be easy against the promoted side, who have been impressive so far under recently-appointed manager Quique Sanchez Flores.

The Hornets are 10th, alongside this weekend’s opponents on nine points.

While also boasting a style that is better suited to being the visitors – they have scored four times away compared to just once at home – their record at Vicarage Road so far is solid.

They are yet to concede a goal there and, having beaten Swansea two weeks ago, are 6/4 to secure back-to-back wins on their own turf.

In Odion Ighalo, Flores has the year’s most in-form striker.

The 26-year-old Nigerian has scored 20 goals in 24 league appearances in 2015 – more than any other player in the top four divisions.

Ighalo is 11/1 to score first in a Watford win and 14/1 to score twice or more – just as he did at aforementioned strugglers Newcastle last week.

And while he is yet to score this campaign, fellow striker Troy Deeney is also an undoubted threat.

The 27-year-old has contributed 21 goals and 12 assists in 48 league games since the start of last season and is 5/2 to find the net at any point during the 90 minutes.

Sunday’s encounter between the two sides will be their first in the Premier League.

And if Pardew’s 30th game in charge is anything like the previous 29, the chances of it ending all-square are remote.

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