Vieira: Palace will prepare for Watford clash as normal

News Desk
Patrick Vieira during an interview

Patrick Vieira insists his Crystal Palace side are preparing as normal for their clash against Watford despite Saturday’s match being in doubt.

The Hornets’ game against Burnley on Wednesday night was called off hours before kick-off due to an outbreak of Covid-19 cases in their squad.

A decision over the Turf Moor fixture was made by the Premier League Board after Watford had an “insufficient number of first-team players available to fulfil the match” which raises the possibility this weekend’s clash with Palace will also be postponed.

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“The main focus was to make the best selection for this game,” Vieira said after their 2-2 draw with Southampton on Wednesday.

“We saw the Watford game (at Burnley) was postponed so for us we have to keep preparing ourselves until then and wait for what the Premier League will have to say.

“Our plan for the rest of the week will not change and we will prepare like the game will happen.”

Goals from Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew earned Palace a point at home to Southampton.

The duo were among those at Selhurst Park to contract coronavirus last season, but the Eagles have largely been able to steer clear of further positive cases during this campaign.

Vieira praised the continued sacrifices of his players during the escalating situation in the country, with the new Omicron variant producing a record number of infections while three Premier League matches have been called off during the last week.

He added: “I don’t think it is just about football, it is the cases in the country.

“Every club, like ourselves, tries to do the best to avoid those cases. We have a protocol that we are following.

“Our doctor and medical staff are behind the players and trying to make them understand how important it is to put aside our social life at the moment.

“So far the players are doing a good job but we have to be consistent every day and every week until things will get better.”