Championship Playoff Final Preview

In what is regarded as the most expensive game in world football, london sides Crystal Palace and Watford square up against each other in the Championship Playoff Final which will be held at Wembley Stadium on Monday afternoon (3pm kickoff).

Watford finished third in the Championship, losing out on automatic promotion on the final day of the season to Hull City, before winning their playoff match against Leicester City in unbelievable fashion as striker Troy Deeney scored the winner deep into stoppage time via a counter attack after goalkeeper Manuel Almunia had saved from Anthony Knockhaert.

Crystal Palace however finished fifth in the Championship this season, and after drawing their first leg of their playoff against rivals Brighton & Hove Albion at home, looked the underdog to pick up an away win at the Amex. They did however, due to the excellance of forward Wilfried Zaha, who scored twice to send the Eagles to Wembley.

Recent contests between the sides this season have been close, with the Hornets winning 3-2 at Selhurst Park, and a 2-2 draw being played out in the reverse fixture at Vicarage Road.

Team News:

Watford: No major injury worries with goalkeepers Manuel Almunia and Jonathan Bond recovering from injury during the playoffs. Long term absentees include Neuton and Nyron Nostworthy.

Crystal Palace: The Eagles will be without the prolific Glenn Murray, who has been ruled out for the forseeable future after rupturing knee ligaments in their 0-0 playoff first leg at home to Brighton. Defender Jonathan Parr and Patrick McCarthy are long term absentees and midfielder Stephen Dobbie is unavailable after his long deal expired.

Prediction: A really tough game to call this one, with many fantastic individual talents on show including Wilfried Zaha and Matej Vydra. After close battles this season, i think Watford may have the extra class on the day and i fancy Troy Deeney to open to goalscoring in a 2-0 victory for the Hornets.

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