The Eagles take on the Hornets in this crucial Championship play-off final said to be worth a cool £120m to the winner.
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Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey
Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Garvan
Zaha, Wilbraham, Williams
Doyley, Ekstrand, Cassetti
Anya, Chalobah, Hogg, Pudil
Crystal Palace will be without top-scorer Glenn Murray for the Championship play-off final.
The division’s leading marksman picked up a cruciate injury in their semi-final victory over Brighton, with Aaron Wilbraham set to step in.
Watford manager Gianfranco Zola has no new injury concerns ahead of the final.
Daniel Pudil and Matthew Briggs will contest the left wing-back slot, while Zola will decide between Jonathan Hogg and Cristian Battocchio in midfield.
• The Championship Play-Off Final, billed as the richest club match in world football worth £120m, is also the 110th meeting of Crystal Palace and Watford. Palace have won 44 of the previous 109 over 92 years, and Watford 40.
• It is their second clash in the play-offs, having faced each other in the Championship semi-finals in 2006, when Watford won 3-0 at Selhurst Park, and held out for a goalless draw in the second leg on their own ground.
• In this season’s league meetings, the Hornets came away from Palace odd goal in five victors in August, and shared four goals at Vicarage Road in February. The Eagles last beat Watford in February 2012, with a 4-0 league victory on their own ground.
• Gianfranco Zola’s side qualified for this final with a last ditch goal from Troy Deeney to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory over Leicester in the play-off semi-finals.
• Watford lost out on an automatic promotion place to Hull on the last day of the regular season, and ended third, two points outside the top two.
• The Hornets have won three of their last eight in all competitions.
• The Hertfordshire club have spent six seasons at Championship level, since relegation from the Premier League in 2007.
• They have experienced two one-season stays in the Premier League and gained entry on both occasions by winning the play-offs, beating Bolton 2-0 at the old Wembley in 1999 under Graham Taylor, and Leeds 3-0 at the Millennium Stadium in 2006 under Aidy Boothroyd.
• This is their fifth play-off campaign; all four previous participations have been at this level (12 matches played – W5, D3, L4).
• Watford (85) and Crystal Palace (73) were the highest scorers in the Championship this season.
• This is the Hornets’ first trip to the new Wembley, and Zola’s first taste of a play-off final.
• Ian Holloway’s club earned their place at Wembley after beating Brighton 2-0 in the second leg of the play-off semi-final at the Amex Stadium, having played out a goalless first leg on home soil.
• The Eagles qualified for the play-offs in fifth place – their highest finish in five seasons – two spots, four wins and five points inferior to Watford.
• They only managed one win in the last 10 matches of the regular season, but go into this Wembley showpiece unbeaten in six, having won two and drawn four since a 3-0 loss at Ipswich on 16 April.
• This is Palace’s 20th match and seventh play-off campaign (W9, D2, L8).
• Palace have been promoted to the top-flight via the play-offs on three occasions.
• In 1989, Steve Coppell’s side with Wright and Bright, beat Blackburn in the final over two legs, in 1997 under the same manager the Eagles beat Sheffield United 1-0 at the old Wembley with a goal from David Hopkin and in 2004, Iain Dowie’s team (20th on Boxing Day 2003) beat West Ham 1-0 at the Millennium Stadium for a most unexpected promotion when Neil Shipperley was on target.
• The south-east London outfit are hoping to return to the Premier League a record fifth time, after completing four one-season stays (1992/93, 1994/95, 1997/98 and 2004/05).
• This is the fifth play-off campaign of Ian Holloway’s managerial career.
• He famously took Blackpool up to the Premier League through them in May 2010, beating Cardiff 3-2 at the new Wembley. But Holloway failed to get Bristol Rovers past the semi-finals in 1998, and lost in the final with QPR at the Millennium Stadium in 2003 and again with Blackpool at Wembley in 2012.
• This is Palace’s first visit to the new Wembley.
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