Watford 0-0 Palace report - 'Winless run goes on'

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Watford’s winless run was extended to six games as the Hornets were held to a goalless draw at home to Crystal Palace.

Javi Gracia's men dominated the first half but the momentum swung round after the break and Roy Hodgson’s side had the better chances to win the game.

21st Apr 2018

It was a point which moved the Eagles closer to safety while the draw surely ensures another season in the Premier League for Watford, despite their lack of recent victories.

Lack of goals a concern

Watford have failed to score in four of their last six games and the goals have noticeably dried up. The Hornets actually matched their season’s best tally of 11 shots in the first half against Palace but the hosts still failed to put the ball in the back of the net.

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This has been a recurring problem in recent weeks and there is no doubt Richarlison’s loss of form, which has seen him dropped to the bench, has been an issue.

Troy Deeney and Stefano Okaka both started against Palace and the Italian was unlucky to see his header hit the crossbar.

But the Hornets’ attack has looked blunt lately and it is something that Gracia will need to focus on heading into next season.

Watford need to look to the future and a regular goalscorer is needed to come in especially with Deeney not getting any younger and Richarlison’s future looking likely to be away from Vicarage Road. 

It seems inevitable the Brazilian will leave and the club should probably take the money offered for him after a very disappointing second half to the season.

But with Deeney looking past his best and Andre Gray proving a huge flop, Watford need to prioritise enhancing their attack in time for the new campaign.

Passionate display offers encouragement

The team has been criticised recently but there was a real intensity in their performance, particularly in the first half, which was much needed.

The commitment and controlled aggression from the players certainly roused the fans and there was a much-improved atmosphere at Vicarage Road.

Too often the ground is quiet but that was not the case here and the club deserve some credit for trying to improve the atmosphere by announcing the introduction of a singing stand.

Ideas such as putting a drummer in at one corner of the ground is another effort to enhance the noise level and is a worthwhile step to try and provide a better match day experience.

Closing home win badly needed

Watford only have one home game left and it has become increasingly important that the Hornets win their match against Newcastle United next month.

It is difficult to see the side taking anything from their remaining trips to Tottenham and Manchester United so the game against Rafa Benitez’s team has become the main chance to end with a win.

Failure to win that match would leave a sour note and it would be a disappointing climax to the season with the Hornets' last win coming at the start of March.