This article forms part of our Last Time Out feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player fared against his team’s next opponent the last time the two sides faced off.
Roy Hodgson will be hoping for more of the same from Gary Cahill and the rest of his Crystal Palace defenders when the south London club take on Watford later today.
The last time these two sides met, Palace were able to keep a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road, with Cahill playing his part. The 34-year-old went on to earn a 7.4 match rating on WhoScored, the highest in the Eagles’ team, after putting in a solid display.
On the day, Cahill won six aerial duels and made five clearances. When it came to the former, no defender made more. As for the latter, only central defensive partner James Tomkins (eight) did better in that area.
Indeed, aerially, Cahill was strong during that encounter, which has been a common theme this season. Winning 3.6 aerial duels per game in the Premier League, only Christian Benteke (4.9) has performed better from Palace’s squad, showing what Cahill has brought to the defence since joining from Chelsea last summer.
Is Gary Cahill Crystal Palace's best defender?
He will need to be on his toes today and cannot get complacent given who Palace are facing. Watford, of course, just dismantled a Liverpool side who are on the verge of becoming Premier League champions, so the encounter at Selhurst Park will not be easy.
But Cahill and his team-mates at the back can take confidence from their last match against the Hornets.
Crystal Palace fans, confident in Cahill’s ability to limit Watford’s threat? Tell us in the comment section below!
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