Vicente Guaita and James Tomkins are set to return for Crystal Palace against Watford

Journalist Tom Barclay has revealed that ‘there’s no reason to suggest’ goalkeeper Vicente Guaita and defender James Tomkins won’t return for Crystal Palace against Watford.

The Eagles travel to Vicarage Road this evening in what’s set to be an intriguing Premier League clash that will see Roy Hodgson take on his former side since departing in the summer.

What is the latest news involving Palace?

Palace extended their winless run to six games after falling to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea last time out, but manager Patrick Vieira was left with more than just the result to worry about.

First-choice shot-stopper Guaita was forced off the field of play at half-time due to a knee injury and was replaced by backup Jack Butland, who was unable to keep out Hakim Ziyech’s 89th-minute winner.

And there was no place in the matchday squad for centre-back Tomkins, with Vieira opting to select Martin Kelly and 18-year-old full-back Tayo Adaramola as his defensive options on the substitute’s bench.

It was just the fifth time this season that Tomkins hadn’t made the cut, although it appears the experienced campaigner wasn’t suffering from any fitness concerns ahead of the clash against Chelsea.

What has Barclay said about Palace?

Vieira failed to provide an update on either Guaita or Tomkins in his pre-match press conference, and Barclay believes that could be a sign of their availability.

He told GiveMeSport: “Neither were mentioned in the injury update. He (Vieira) was asked about it, and he was talking about Joel Ward being out and Nathan Ferguson, perennially out obviously, but he didn’t mention the other two.

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“But there’s no reason to suggest that those two players aren’t ready to play. You’d think Guaita would reclaim his place; I know he came off injured against Chelsea, whereas Tomkins, I presume that was more of a selection choice, but I don’t know.”

Could Palace be dragged into a relegation battle?

Palace are currently sitting in 13th position in the Premier League table, nine points clear of tonight’s opponents Watford, who occupy the final spot in the relegation zone.

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Hodgson’s charges do have a game in hand over the south London outfit, though, meaning this upcoming encounter could go a long way to deciding both teams’ fate come the end of the season.

Therefore, Vieira will surely be hoping he can call upon two of his most senior stars in this potentially pivotal fixture.

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