England Premier League — 27 May 2013

Wilfried Zaha will make his final Crystal Palace appearance in the play-off finalCrystal Palace and Watford go head-to-head later today in the Championship play-off final for the lucrative prize of a place in the Premier League next season.

Watford finished third in the Championship and only failed to secure automatic promotion on the last day of the season.

Palace finished fifth in the Championship, after being in the top six for much of the season.

The two teams made it to the Championship final in very different fashions. Crystal Palace secured their final spot courtesy of a 2-0 win at bitter-rivals Brighton, after the first leg finished 0-0 at Selhurst Park.

Watford’s route to the final was more dramatic. The Hornets were drawing 2-2 with Leicester on aggregate in the second leg, only to concede an injury-time penalty. Foxes midfielder Anthony Knockaert missed the spot kick, Watford broke away and Troy Deeney scored the winner.

The victory was reward for an excellent season for the Hornets under former-Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola.

Crystal Palace will be looking to star man Wilfried Zaha to inspire them to victory. The talented young England international scored the brace that put Palace in the final. The youngster will be playing his last match for the Eagles before making a £15million summer move to Manchester United.

Watford’s Czech Republic international Matej Vydra won Championship Player of the Year and could be the player the Hornets look for inspiration in this major encounter. The on-loan youngster has found the net 22 times this season in the Championship.

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway is something of a play-off expert having helped Blackpool to the Premier League in 2010 via the play-offs, but suffered defeat to West Ham in the play-offs with the Tangerines last season.

Watford were last in the top flight in 2006/07 season, but will head into this encounter as slight favourites.

Who will secure a place in the Premier League for next season?


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David Nugent

David is a 29 year-old football fan and journalist, who is passionate about the beautiful game. He is a lifelong supporter of Premier League Everton and likes nothing better than a healthy discussion about the world's favourite sport.

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