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Matchday live

3:30 PM

That's A Wrap

Thats all from us here on Matchday Live, but don't forget to check out the Match Review page this evening with social reaction, a full match report and exended match highlights later on.


Thanks again for coming out to support the Hornets this afternoon, we look forward to seeing you on Sunday for our game against Tottenham Hotspur.

3:15 PM

Keep your friends close...

3:05 PM

Mazzarri speaks

Walter Mazzarri spoke post-match to BBC MOTD:


"Aside from fact we are missing important players,  a lot of the players didn't have their best day.


"Yes it is true we came back in the second half. But I didn't like performance of the team either tactically or technically."

3:00 PM

Prödl Post-Match

The Austrian centre-half spoke to Premier League Productions after the final whistle:


"There were lots of battles but I think a draw was the right result. I gave them a present so I was lucky that Gomes is an incredible goalkeeper to save the penalty. 


"I think it was a deserved penalty for us and a fair result. Troy is a good striker and we have helped him through this period. We are pleased he got the goal he deserves. Both teams can be happy with the result."

2:50 PM

Thanks for your support!

Today's attendance was 20,304, thank you for coming out for the early kick-off this Boxing Day!

Deeney applauds the fans after the final whistle, while we congratulate him for scoring his 100th Watford goal.
2:40 PM

Deeney & Gomes speak to Sky

On 100 goals for Troy and getting something out of the game -


Gomes: "The injuries didn't help us because we had a game plan. But it brought Troy on and I'm pleased he has his 100th goal."


Troy: "I've been having a stinker recently. I deserved to be dropped but I'm pleased to get the 100th goal. The most important thing though is the character the boys showed today. The big man saving the penalty helped too of course.


"When you aren't having a good time in front of goal I just felt I had to hit the ball as hard as I can and if the keeper gets in the way at least it's gonna hurt! So I smashed it down the middle."


On the penalty decision and save -


Gomes: "I didn't try to foul him. I did expect a card! You have to get in the mind of the taker, I saw some clips of Benteke before and he comes up to the ball slow."

2:21 PM - 95 MIN

FULL-TIME: Watford 1-1 Crystal Palace

Troy Deeney got a point for the Golden Boys against Crystal Palace with his 100th Watford goal, after Yohan Cabaye had put the visitors ahead in the first half.


The Hornets lost Daryl Janmaat and Valon Behrami to injury in the opening stages, forcing a tactical reshuffle.


Cabaye was unmarked when he scored with neat finish in the 26th minute after he was played onside by Younes Kaboul.


But when Damien Delaney brought down Sebastian Prödl for a penalty in the second half, Deeney had the chance to step up and join the 100 club.


The skipper smashed past Wayne Hennessey to send the Watford fans home with a point for Christmas.

2:20 PM - 91 MIN

161226 Britos booked

2:19 PM - 90 MIN

Four Minutes Added Time

Both teams still looking for a winner at The Vic

2:16 PM - 86 MIN

Yellow card
Zaha (simulation)

2:14 PM - 85 MIN


Watford FC




2:13 PM


Troy Deeney scores that all-important penalty.

2:11 PM - 82 MIN

Chance for Igahlo

Zuniga backheels into Guedioura, who shrugs off Cabaye to cross, Ighalo's header into the ground is straight at Hennessey. 

2:10 PM - 81 MIN

Substitution Crystal Palace




2:07 PM

Second Coming

Watford have gone more direct in this second period, and it's paying dividends. Deeney and Ighalo are making life difficult for the Palace defence, and chances are coming more regularly now.

2:03 PM - 74 MIN

Substitution Crystal Palace




2:02 PM - 70 MIN

100 Club

The captain converts from the spot! Deeney smashes his 100th goal over the line past a helpless Wayne Hennessy. Get in!

2:01 PM - 70 MIN



Watford FC Watford FC
1 - 1
Crystal Palace Crystal Palace
2:00 PM - 70 MIN

Penalty Watford

1:59 PM - 69 MIN

Yellow card

1:57 PM - 69 MIN

High & Wide

Deeney knocks down to Zuniga on the edge of the box but his half-volley is well over. 

1:54 PM


Adlene Guedioura is winning EVERYTHING in the air today.

1:48 PM - 59 MIN

Half A Chance!

Deeney's flick finds its way through to Ighalo wide of the goal but the Nigerian can only drill wide from a tight angle. 

1:48 PM


Troy Deeney battles for possession against three Palace defenders.

1:42 PM - 51 MIN

Yellow card
Holebas (foul)

1:36 PM - 52 MIN

Better Start

The Hornets have come out strong, putting pressure on the visitors without creating a chance of note. Better, without doubt. 

1:34 PM - 46 MIN

We're back underway!

The Hornets are looking for a way back into the game as we kick-off for the second half, come on you Golden Boys!

1:20 PM - 45 MIN

HALF-TIME: Watford 0-1 Crystal Palace

The Eagles went ahead thanks to a goal from Yohan Cabaye, in a frustrating first period where Watford lost both Daryl Janmaat and Valon Behrami to injury in the first quarter of an hour.


A short back pass from Sebastian Prödl saw Heurelho Gomes bring Christian Benteke down in the box, but the Brazilian redeemed himself by saving Benteke's poor spot-kick.


The visitors went in one ahead as the half-time whistle blew, but it could easily have been worse if not for the reflexes of the Hornets' shot-stopper on his 100th league appearance for the club.

1:18 PM - 45 MIN

Yellow card
Puncheon (foul)

1:15 PM - 44 MIN

Yellow card
Benteke (foul)

1:13 PM


Palace fans were calling for handball when Guedioura brought the ball down...

1:06 PM - 36 MIN

Palace Miss A Penalty!

Very poor from the Hornets but they get away with it. Prodl's back pass is short and Gomes takes Benteke down. 

The Belgian's lazy penalty is saved by Gomes and it stays 0-1! 

1:00 PM


Nordin Amrabat dribbles past Andros Townsend.

12:55 PM - 26 MIN

Just Onside

A reverse ball from Andros Townsend finds Yohan Cabaye free in the Watford penalty area and the Frenchman slots coolly across the goalkeeper. The Watford defence claimed offside but replays show Kaboul was playing him on.

12:55 PM - 26 MIN



Watford FC Watford FC
0 - 1
Crystal Palace Crystal Palace
12:49 PM


Zuniga becomes part of a midfield three, while Ighalo and Amrabat play either side of Deeney. 4-3-3 for the Hornets.

12:46 PM


A photo that sums up the Hornets' first 15 minutes. Daryl Janmaat and Valon Behrami have both gone off injured.

12:43 PM - 13 MIN


Watford FC




12:41 PM - 12 MIN

It Gets Worse

Valon Behrami goes down holding his hamstring and his day is over. Troy Deeney about to come on for the Hornets. The injuries pile up. 

12:40 PM - 10 MIN

All Palace So Far

Zaha is causing problems down the right-hand side of the Watford defence with his pace and trickery, but there have been no real chances to speak of yet.

12:34 PM

An Unexpected Change

Daryl Janmaat looks to have picked up a knock making his first challenge of the game on Wilfired Zaha. The Dutchman struggled on for a few moments before signalling to the bench - not the start he would have wanted.

12:34 PM - 5 MIN


Watford FC




12:30 PM - 1 MIN


We're underway at Vicarage Road! Come on you 'Orns! 

12:25 PM

Mazzarri Pre-match

Walter Mazzarri spoke to the press ahead of kick-off:


"Prödl is back, and our main starting defenders are back. Kaboul can also play as a right-back so we can play a three or a four.


"The change of coach is difficult to control, we don't know what they will do. We always try to play in the best way and get three points."

12:10 PM

Gomes reaches Watford century

Heurelho Gomes makes his 100th league appearance in a Watford shirt this afternoon.


The Brazilian keeper helped the Hornets secure promotion to the top flight in his first season at Vicarage Road. He then cemented the Golden Boys' place in the Premier League last season with several fine performances, most notably saving two penalties against West Bromwich Albion, and winning Player of the Season and Players' player of the Season in the process.

12:00 PM


Troy Deeney catches up with another former Hornet - Jordon Mutch.

11:40 AM

Start Them Young


It's official. Rex is a Hornet! #watfordfc

A photo posted by @podgins on

11:35 AM


The Golden Boys arrive at Vicarage Road for this afternoon's clash with Crystal Palace.

11:30 AM

Team News

Sebastian Prödl looked as though he could miss out after sustaining a dead leg in the Sunderland game, but keeps his place in the starting line-up after being passed fit.


Camilo Zuniga drops to the bench in favour of Adlene Guedioura, while Daryl Janmaat returns to the starting eleven as skipper Troy Deeney is on the bench.


HORNETS: Gomes (GK) (c); Kaboul, Prödl, Britos, Holebas; Capoue, Behrami, Guedioura; Amrabat, Ighalo, Janmaat.


Subs: Pantilimon (GK), Deeney, Cathcart, Doucouré, Zúñiga, Sinclair, Kabasele.


EAGLES: Hennessey (GK); Ward, Dann (c), Delaney, Kelly; Flamini, Cabaye; Townsend, Puncheon, Zaha; Benteke.


Subs: Speroni (GK), Fryers, Mutch, Husin, Lee, Wan-Bissaka, Campbell.

11:25 AM

Back in the dugout again...

There's a lot of media interest here today in Sam Allardyce, who returns to club management after a short stint with England.

11:20 AM

Capoue speaks

The Hornets' French playmaker spoke to Sky Sports ahead of kick-off:


"We have to focus on what we have to do to win, both in defence and offence.


"I hope it is a good time to play Crystal Palace. They will have pressure on them to do well because of what has happened. We have to be focused ourselves."

11:15 AM

15 Minute Warning!

Just quarter of an hour to go until the team line-ups are announced, come on you 'Orns!

11:10 AM

ICYMI: Secret Santa

 The Golden Boys told us what they'd get their teammates for Christmas at the training ground earlier this week.

11:00 AM

Hornets Shop Sale!

Grab 50 per cent off selected lines in-store and online at the Hornets Shop today, including Hornets replica kit! 

10:50 AM

There And Back Again

But one man who won't be featuring today is Adrian Mariappa, who remains sidelined through injury. The home-grown defender rejoined the Golden Boys this summer after spells at Reading and Crystal Palace.

10:45 AM

Then And Now

Adlene Guedioura could be in line to start against his former club this afternoon. The Algerian international joined the Hornets from Palace on deadline day in September 2015, having previously spent time here on-loan.

10:30 AM

Don't Forget

Don't forget to pick up your copy of the programme before the game!


Today's edition of The Hornet includes:

- An in-depth interview with Watford's Belgian centre-half Christian Kabasele.

- All the Watford news you may have missed out on in Watford Wire.

- Odion Ighalo features in 'In The Hat', and reveals the toughest defender he's played against.

- Kevin Miller offers his three 'Defining Moments' from his days in a Watford shirt.

- And a full profile on our visitors today, Crystal Palace.


10:15 AM

ICYMI: Key Points - Mazzarri on Palace

In case you missed it, here are the key points from Walter Mazzarri's press conference earlier this week: 

10:05 AM


Hornets captain Troy Deeney keeps his eye on a ball played over the top in training earlier this week.

10:00 AM

The Fan View


9:45 AM


Find out the pre-match fitness news on Sebastian Prödl, Stefano Okaka and Craig Cathcart below.



9:40 AM

Instagram Snapshot


⚽️ Happy Boxing Day, #watfordfc fans - it's matchday at The Vic! ⚽️

A photo posted by Watford FC (@watfordfcofficial) on

9:30 AM

Welcome back to The Vic!

Merry Christmas Hornets, and welcome back to Vicarage Road for the visit of Crystal Palace in the Premier League (12.30pm KO).

We'll have all the best updates for you live from The Vic right here, and there's match commentary from around 12.15pm via the 'Listen Live' button at the top of the page - just give your page a refresh around then.