Crystal Palace can beat Watford by adopting a more attacking formation

Crystal Palace fans are hoping the tide is turning. Last weekend's 1-1 draw at Swansea was the Eagles' first point of 2016, following five straight Premier League defeats which had seen them tumble from sixth to 12th.

Given how horrible a run it was, it's a bit of a surprise that Alan Pardew's team didn't fall further but, as it is, they went from occupying a European place to currently standing seven points outside the top six. That's a bit like falling off the edge of a cliff but remembering you have ropes still attached.

Unsurprisingly, some fans were starting to worry. A previously-solid defence had begun to leak goals -- 13 conceded in five games -- and the goals have dried up, with just two scored. One of those was an own goal and the other was from centre-back Scott Dann.

But the draw at Swansea was a hint that Palace can turn things around and that things aren't that bad. Pardew's men battled back from a goal down -- something they hadn't done since a 5-1 win over Newcastle in November when the team was flying high -- and looked much more like the Palace of the first few months of the season.

But the test of whether the Eagles have truly started to turn the corner after a horrible start to 2016 comes on Saturday, when they welcome Watford to Selhurst Park. The Hornets have been fantastic this season, performing well above expectations and currently sit in 10th position, one point ahead of Palace.

But like Palace, they too have had a Christmas and New Year to forget. Quique Sanchez Flores' side have won just once in their last eight games and failed to score in four of the last five. Like Palace they've had some tough games, with Tottenham and Manchester City among recent opponents, but they have also put in some lacklustre performances.

So both teams will go into Saturday's clash looking for a win and that could make for an entertaining game. And while Watford fans might look to Palace as the sort of team they want to emulate in terms of establishing themselves in the top flight, supporters of Pardew's side hope their side will follow in Watford's footsteps when it comes to formation.

At Swansea Pardew partnered Marouane Chamakh with new signing Emmanuel Adebayor in the second half as the Eagles played 4-4-2. That's the setup Watford have used all season and it's seen them rise up the league. Leicester have also used it and it's done wonders for them.

Perhaps it's an indication that 4-2-3-1, so popular for so long, is dying out. Palace have used it since getting promoted and recently have found themselves starting to get found out by opposition teams.

So, with Connor Wickham back from a three-game suspension this weekend, plenty of fans would love to see the former Sunderland striker partnered with in attack with Adebayor in attack, who definitely looked more comfortable with added support at Swansea on Saturday.

Pardew's men desperately need a win and being bolder might just pay off for them. It worked when his former side Newcastle rolled into South London back in November and something similar on Saturday would go a long way to getting Palace's season back on track.