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    Crystal Palace v Watford: FA Cup Semi-Final Match Preview

    By Alex Easley
    Crystal Palace meet Watford in Sunday's second FA Cup semi-final.
    Crystal Palace once again have Yannick Bolasie, Scott Dann, Joel Ward and Joe Ledley available to play in the FA Cup semi-final against Watford on Sunday afternoon.

    The four players missed the 2-0 defeat at Manchester United on Wednesday with minor injuries, but their collective availability means boss Alan Pardew almost has a fully-fit squad to pick from.

    The clash at Wembley stadium is huge for both clubs, as neither have hit the form they were in prior to the turn of the year.

    Palace manager Pardew said: "We're squeezing games in; the run we've had, this is our fourth game in 12 days.

    "That's a tough run, when you've got a semi-final, the biggest game in this club's history for a while, since the play-off final."
    Palace manager Alan Pardew has had to navigate four games in 12 days in his preparation.
    Back on Christmas day, Palace were sixth and Watford were seventh in the Premier League table, but now find themselves 16th and 12th respectively heading into the game on Sunday.

    Watford head into the game on the back of a 3-1 defeat to West Ham at Upton Park on Wednesday evening.

    Hornets head coach Quique Sanchez Flores has said on the speculation about his future: "This is the time to talk about Watford, to talk about Watford fans and how important this is for this club.

    "It is not the time to talk about me. I can just transmit to the Watford fans that I am completely focused and happy. Watford fans need to know that I am completely happy at Watford."

    The Eagles got to this stage of the cup courtesy of a Yohan Cabaye winner against Reading, meanwhile Watford stunned the holders with a 2-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates in the quarter-finals.
    Quique Sanchez Flores says now is not the time to talk about him, but talk about Watford.

    Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur returned from an ankle ligaments injury as a second-half substitute against Manchester United on Wednesday, and is expected to again make the bench.

    Palace are without only long-term absentees Marouane Chamakh, Brede Hangeland and Paddy McCarthy.

    Watford will be without Nordin Amrabat for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace. The Moroccan forward is suspended after his red card at the end of Wednesday night's defeat at West Ham.

    Boss Quique Sanchez Flores has an otherwise full-strength squad and is set to recall the likes of Allan Nyom, Ben Watson, Etienne Capoue, Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney after resting them at Upton Park.
    Yohan Cabaye sealed Palace's passage into the FA Cup semi-finals.


    Crystal Palace beat Watford 1-0 after extra time in the Championship play-off final at Wembley during the 2012-13 season.

    Watford have lost only one of six previous FA Cup ties with Palace (W3, D2), a 1-0 fifth-round defeat after extra time in 1995.

    Palace have won seven of their last 11 meetings with the Hornets in all competitions (D2, L2).

    Crystal Palace

    Crystal Palace have reached their first FA Cup semi-final since 1995, when they lost 2-0 to Manchester United in a replay.

    Their only semi-final win in four attempts came in 1990 when they beat Liverpool 4-3 and current Eagles manager Alan Pardew scored the winning goal that day.

    The Eagles have beaten Premier League opposition in three of their four FA Cup ties this season, knocking out Southampton, Stoke and Tottenham.

    Palace could keep four successive clean sheets in the FA Cup for the first time since 1924.

    Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has conceded only one goal in four FA Cup ties.


    Watford have reached the FA Cup semi-final for the first time since 2007. They have lost four of their five previous games at this stage, but did beat Plymouth Argyle in 1984 to reach the final.

    They have beaten two Premier League sides en route to the semi-finals: Newcastle and Arsenal.

    However, they have only won one of eight Premier League matches since beating Crystal Palace in mid-February.

    K.O. 4PM – 24/04/2016
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    Item Reviewed: Crystal Palace v Watford: FA Cup Semi-Final Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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