Watford v Palace ? Team news preview

Last updated : 16 January 2004 By Nik Taylor

Loan-signing Mark Hudson is set to make his first start in Palace colours after arriving from Fulham in midweek.

Dowie needs the 21-year-old to help patch up a threadbare defence, with Darren Powell (thigh) still out and both Kit Symons and Tony Popovic rated as doubtful with hamstring injuries. Curtis Fleming’s broken leg is likely to keep him out for at least two months.

There is some good news for the battered Eagles though. Aki Riihilahti has declared himself fit following his hamstring injury, and will be looking to build on his good form over the first half of the season.

However Shaun Derry and Michael Hughes are both unlikely to feature, with groin and hamstring injuries respectively.

Possible starting XI

Butterfield Granville Hudson Borrowdale
Routledge Riihilahti Watson Gray
Johnson Shipperley