Palace to play Watford in FA Cup semi-final

Alan Pardew's side will need to overcome a strong Hornets side to reach the final.

Palace to play Watford in FA Cup semi-final
These two will do battle for the third time this season at Wembley. | Photo: Getty images

Crystal Palace will play Watford in their FA Cup semi-final.

The Eagles were the first club to progress to the final-four following Friday night’s 2-0 victory over Reading, having previously beaten Southampton, Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur in the earlier rounds of the competition. Two late goals from Yohan Cabaye and Fraizer Campbell meant Palace edged victory at Majedski stadium.

Former Palace midfielder, Adlene Guedioura, scored a delightful goal as the Hornets surprisingly overcame Arsenal on Sunday – winning 2-1. Odion Ighalo opened the scoring at the Emirates stadium, before Guedioura’s emphatic strike from the edge of the box doubled their lead. Danny Welbeck scored a late consolation, but Arsenal’s woes continued as pressure mounts on manager Arsene Wenger.

Quique Sanchez Flores’ side have also previously beaten Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest and Leeds United on the way to the last four.

The two sides have already met twice this season in the Premier League; a Cabaye penalty settled a tight game at Vicarage Road – a 1-0 win in favour of Palace in September - while a Troy Deeney double helped earned Watford a 2-1 win at Selhurst Park last month.

Cabaye scores a penalty in Palace's 1-0 win at Vicarage Road earlier this season | Photo: Reuters
Cabaye scores a penalty in Palace's 1-0 win at Vicarage Road earlier this season | Photo: Reuters

2013 play-off final rematch

The tie will be a repeat of the 2013 Championship play-off final at Wembley. Kevin Phillips’ penalty in extra-time handed Palace victory and ultimately promotion to England’s top-flight. Watford were finally promoted to the Premier League in May under previous manager, Slavisa Jokanovic, which means it will be the Eagles’ fourth all-Premier League FA Cup tie of the season.

Both clubs have exceeded expectations this season, particularly Watford who find themselves 14th in the league table – just one place above Palace – despite being strong relegation candidates at the start of the season. Alan Pardew’s side had an excellent start to the season and even reached as high as the Europa League places in December. However, since then, Palace are winless in 12 league games and their only victories in 2016 have come in the FA Cup.

The match will be played at Wembley on either the 23rd or 24th of April.