Declan Warrington, who covers the Eagles for the Press Association, gives us the lowdown on Saturday's opponents.
How would you assess Palace's form coming into the game?
Their results have been mixed [two wins from the last four but four defeats in a row before that], however the performances have been more encouraging than results would suggest. Perhaps owing to nerves they are not quite at the promising level they demonstrated towards the conclusion of 2017 before their progress was disrupted by numerous injuries, but beyond those outside of the top six, they are again capable of beating anyone.
Do you think relegation is still a very real concern?
No. It obviously remains a mathematical possibility, but last week's victory over rivals Brighton provided them with a significant lift, and one that should inspire further points in what is essentially a kind run of fixtures. Even if one of the bottom three unexpectedly dragged themselves to safety, there are other teams who look at greater risk than Palace of going down.
Palace looked dead and buried when Roy Hodgson took over. How would you assess the job he has done?
It's been remarkable. Beyond Pep Guardiola and Sean Dyche, it's difficult to think of a Premier League manager this season who has done a better job. Following that damaging start, Palace at least looked certain to still be battling in their final fixture or two; had it not been for that disastrous run of injuries, they would likely already be mid-table. That it has been a strange season in which those in the bottom half of the table are unusually close has no doubt obviously helped.
How's he got the team set up at the minute as it looks like he is playing without a recognised striker?
Against Brighton, Wilfried Zaha provided Palace's focal point, and a 4-5-1 of sorts became a 4-3-3 when Andros Townsend and the similarly-talented Ruben Loftus-Cheek broke from midfield to support him. Yohan Cabaye, Luka Milivojević and James McArthur then offered stability from central midfield, but it would not be a surprise to see Christian Benteke or Alexander Sørloth recalled as the lone striker, particularly for an away fixture. In that event, Zaha would play off of one or the other in a 4-4-1-1.
Ray Lewington is a popular figure in these parts. What sort of role do you think he has played in Palace's revival?
Hodgson and Ray Lewington were appointed after the conclusion of the summer transfer window, and Palace were frustrated throughout the January window, when the little-known Sørloth became their only senior signing. What that has meant is that, unlike the preferred route so many Premier League teams pursue when they attempt to spend their way out of trouble, the manager and his assistant have had to exert their influence during training, in organising their team. The transformation there has been remarkable and Lewington similarly deserves credit, because Palace are unrecognisable from the team that begun the season under Frank de Boer.
What a find Luka Milivojević has been. Just how good is he?
Signing Milivojević is arguably the best thing Sam Allardyce did during his time at Selhurst Park, and he's remembered fondly for leading them to survival. Milivojević's influence is such that he has regularly worn the captain's armband this season, scored 10 goals – many of them penalties – from defensive midfield, and remained the one consistent figure during that run of injuries in which almost everyone else of note was at one point absent. Without those goals and everything he provides, they may well still be in the bottom three.
And you've also got Ruben Loftus-Cheek back. How big a boost is that?
It's often noted how Palace are yet to secure a Premier League point this season in Zaha's absence, but had Loftus-Cheek been fit whenever Zaha was injured, you strongly suspect that would not have been the case. Like Zaha, he has that rare-but-simple quality of making things happen on a football pitch, and his presence gives them numerous options, making them far less reliant on Zaha.
No Watford-Palace game would be the same if we didn't discuss Wilfried Zaha. Is he back fit and firing again?
Last week against Brighton he scored twice in a match for the first time since 2013; the week before at Bournemouth he scored his finest goal of the season. His confidence is presently irrepressible, and probably makes him the most influential player outside of the Premier League's top six.
Any injury news? Who is definitely out and who is a doubt?
Hodgson has far from has a fully-fit squad from which to choose; Jeffrey Schlupp is still struggling with an ankle injury, and Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Bakary Sako and Connor Wickham are long-term absentees.
You got a good look at us the day we lost at Selhurst Park. What have you made of us since?
Since nearing safety, Watford have long looked a team waiting for the end of the season, which seems a shame given how promisingly they started it. There's little question they've a talented squad, but the league table flatters them and in different circumstances they could very easily be struggling. It's not the club's fault the Marco Silva affair unfolded as it did, however.
And, finally, how do you see the game going?
I expect an away victory in which both teams score; perhaps 2-1 to Palace. Watford seem short of momentum, motivation and confidence, and Hodgson's team seem to both enjoy playing for him and have a degree of each.