The FA Cup quarter-finals get underway with the first of two all Premier League clashes on Saturday lunch time as Watford host Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road.
In a repeat of the 2015/16 FA Cup semi-final, both sides will be looking to reach the last four stage for the first time since that year.
Cup aspirations will be on Watford’s radar as they only have a European spot to play for, while Crystal Palace look to maintain their Premier League status with just 10 games remaining.
Watford will believe they have a real chance of winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history with their form this season. A surprise package, the Hornets have become a force during Javi Gracia’s first full season in charge at the Vicarage Road.
The Hornets are unbeaten on their own patch since early December when Man City rolled into the town to claim a 2-1 victory. Home advantage will be crucial for the hosts as they’ve won their last five FA Cup ties on home soil.
The visitors have a formidable record on their travels with just one defeat in seven matches away from Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace have scored 15 goals in their last six away matches, losing just once in a thrilling 4-3 encounter with Liverpool in January.
The hosts are the favourites with the bookmakers – the Hornets can be backed with a 29/20 best-price on offer. Crystal Palace offer plenty of betting value at 21/10 to extend their record to one defeat in eight on the road. For a share in the spoils, a draw can be backed at 12/5.
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Changes aplenty are expected from both sides – Watford fielded a weakened side against Manchester City at the weekend with cup aspirations clearly the focus for the Hornets this season
Crystal Palace are expected to field a side similar to the previous rounds with Max Meyer replacing Wilfried Zaha up top to partner with on-loan Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi.
The Cup isn’t Roy Hodgson’s priority with Palace still seven points away from the sacred 40-point by-line in the relegation battle.
Watford to win to nil @ 31/10 – BET NOW
Watford haven’t conceded a goal at home in the FA Cup since 2012 when Tottenham knocked the then Championship side out at the fourth round.
Wholesale changes against Manchester City suggest that the Hornets are taking this competition seriously. Watford to extend their remarkable record stretching back seven years and to win to nil can be found at a great price of 31/10.
Under 2.5 goals @ 10/13 – BET NOW
Watford have scored no more than two goals per game with no response in their three FA Cup games this season. Palace have yet conceded in the competition, but the changes that will be made to squad should be enough to see Watford through.
A whitewash shouldn’t be expected, but Watford’s form at home is strong enough to see them through in a low scoring affair.
Correct score – 2-0 @ 21/2 – BET NOW
Watford have won 2-0 twice on their way to their way to the quarter-finals including a strong win against Premier League opposition in Newcastle.
Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu have been on strong form in recent weeks scoring four goals apiece in their last four matches
It’s easy to see a repeat of Watford’s third and fourth round ties with a comfortable 2-0 win which can be backed at 21/2. Crystal Palace’s minds will be focused on the Premier League rather than an extra FA Cup match – Premier League survival will be a priority.
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