CHELSEA v Watford: Preview

Date: 21st October 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 12:30 BST

We had a disaster against Palace last weekend and did our best to have another one when we threw away a 2-goal lead against Roma midweek, today it’s back home in the Premier League, with Watford the visitors.
The Hornets don’t have a great record against us, and it’s 18 years since their last win over us in the Premier League but they sit above us in the table going into today’s game after their best start in the Premier League to date. Their away form so far this season should also be noted, with 3 wins and a draw from four games.
As for us, we go into the game having lost our last 2 in the league, so a third will only ever lead to mass hysteria. We had a tough game midweek, with Luiz and Bakayoko left struggling with muscle problems and the gaping hole left by Kante’s stretched ever wider with each game. But it’s not the injuries taking their toll, or even the number of outgoings over the summer leaving us with a squad resembling a paddling pool in terms of depth, it’s the absence of big characters to take these games, and their team-mates by the scruff of the neck.
Whether Conte has pointed that out to them over the past few days or not, we’ll have to wait and see – just as long as he’s told them to play to the whistle rather than the clock against Silva’s late scorers!

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s game, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says, “I think they (Watford) are doing very well and they did a really good transfer market. They strengthened very well the squad. I am very happy for the Pozzo family (Watford’s owners), I know them very well. They have a great knowledge in the football. I am happy for them but we want to beat them.”
Watford manager Marco Silva meanwhile, says “Obviously it’s great to look at the table and see what position we are in at the moment. It’s too early now, it’s not important. Everybody knows what our goal is and I haven’t changed my words since my first day [here]. We take everything game by game.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Chelsea, Drinkwater (calf), Kante and Moses (both hamstring) all miss out, whilst David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko both face fitness tests after their tough midweek game.
For Watford, Craig Cathcart, Nathaniel Chalobah and Isaac Success are all long-term absentees, whilst Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Prodl also remain out.

TEAMS
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Bakayoko, Fabregas, ZappaCosta, Hazard, Willian, Morata
WATFORD (Possible line-up): Gray, Carrillo, Cleverley, Richarlison, Doucoure, Capone, Femenia, Britos, Kabasele, Holebas, Gomes

LAST SEASON
Chelsea 4-3 Watford (15th May 2017)

RECENT FORM (PL)
CHELSEA: WWDWLL
WATFORD: DWLWDW

OTHER STUFF
~ Chelsea are on a two-game losing streak in the Premier League for the second time under Antonio Conte.
~ Chelsea haven’t lost three consecutive league matches since November 2015.
~ Chelsea have won just one of their four Premier League games at Stamford Bridge this season
~ Chelsea have dropped eight points at home so far this season; two more than in the whole of 2016-17.
~ Chelsea have failed to score in back-to-back home league games for the first time since November 2012.
~ Watford have taken 15 points from their opening eight games
~ Only under Graham Taylor in 1982-83, in their maiden top-flight season, have they had more points at this stage – on that occasion they had 16.
~ Five of Watford’s 13 league goals this season have been scored after the 85th minute.
~ Marco Silva’s side have claimed 10 points from a possible 12 away from home.
~ Chelsea are unbeaten in 12 league and cup matches against Watford (W9, D3)
~ Watford’s only Premier League win in eight meetings with Chelsea was September 1999.
~ Watford’s last win at Stamford Bridge was on the final day of the 1985-86 top-flight season

PREDICTION
BBC Sport: Chelsea 2-0 Watford
Sky Sports: Chelsea 2-1 Watford
Footyroom: Chelsea 2-1 Watford

One Response to “CHELSEA v Watford: Preview”

  1. Conte should stop using chriceansen ahead of rudigar