Watford v Palace - Team news preview

Last updated : 09 May 2006 By Nik Taylor

Iain Dowie faces the toughest task of his Palace career as he aims to achieve the near impossible at Vicarage Road tonight.

The Eagles suffered a nightmarish second half at Selhurst Park on Saturday to hand Watford a 3-0 advantage going into the second leg.

The scoreline leaves Palace facing momentous odds against becoming the first team to compete in five Championship play-off finals.

The only good news for Dowie is that he has only one new injury concern. Aki Riihilahti has suffered a setback in his return from calf and thigh problems and is ruled out.

The manager indicated during the week that Aki may now have played his final game for Palace, as the Finnish winger considers calling time on his Selhurst career.

However, despite the practically clean bill of health, it's likely there will be several changes to the side which started against Watford.

Dowie is obliged to field an attacking formation, and Dougie Freedman, Marco Reich and Danny Butterfield are all in with a chance of starting the match.

Watford's only injury concern is Clarke Carlisle, and they will be otherwise unchanged.

All tickets for away supporters are sold out, but the match is being shown live on the giant screen at Selhurst Park. Entry is free and the turnstiles open at 6.30pm. The game can also be seen on Sky Sports 1.

Probable Palace XI:

Butterfield Ward Hall Boyce
McAnuff Hughes Reich
Johnson Morrison