Watford v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Wednesday 26th December 2018

Venue: Vicarage Road

Kick-off: 19:30 GMT

 

 

 

The wrapping paper is over-filling the recycle bin, there aren’t enough Alka Seltza to take care of yesterday’s excesses and the smell of Lynx Africa still weighs far too heavy but it’s back to the business of the Premier League already.

Today’s Boxing Night treat sees Watford hosting us at Vicarage Road and the last four Premier League meetings between us have seen 21 goals, with 5 of those coming in our 4-1 thumping in February. But whether this one is a Box Office hit or the sort of predictable demise served up by the soaps this time of year, will be largely dependant on the cast.

Against Leicester at the weekend the script was as familiar as Willy Wonka and we looked about as threatening as the Oompa Loompa’s. So whether Sarri goes all out Die Hard or Mary Poppins, will largely determine how much more car crash Christmas viewing we have to sit through.

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Watford head coach Javi Gracia, who’s obviously seen something we haven’t says We know it will be very demanding for us because we are playing against one of the best teams in the league. It’s not easy because they have a very good mechanism to attack, and they have very good players with different options.”

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri meanwhile, after Saturday’s disaster says It’s important to play again in four days, maybe positive, maybe negative, it depends on our reaction after the (Leicester) match. In the match, we had a bad reaction, now it depends on the reaction in the next three days. I think it’s important to play immediately. In this moment we have to think about us; only about our team. The [Watford] match is difficult, we know very well.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Watford, Will Hughes (hip), Andre Gray (leg), Sebastian Prodl (knee) and Adalberto Penaranda (foot) are out.

For Chelsea, Andreas Christensen (hamstring) remains out although Alvaro Morata should be available again.

 

TEAMS

WATFORD (Possible line-up): Foster; Femenia, Kabasele, Cathcart, Holebas; Capoue, Doucoure; Sema, Pereyra; Deulofeu, Deeney

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Giroud, Hazard

 

LAST SEASON

Watford 4-1 Chelsea (5th February 2018)

 

CURRENT FORM

WATFORD: LLLDWW

CHELSEA: LWLWWL

 

OTHER STUFF

  • Before last season’s 4-1 defeat, Chelsea hadn’t lost to Watford in 13 games.
  • Watford haven’t won back-to-back matches against Chelsea since 1987.
  • Watford could win three consecutive Premier League matches for the second time this season.
  • Watford have kept just two clean sheets in their nine home league matches this season.
  • Chelsea have lost three of their last six Premier League matches, including two of their last three away games.
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League games played on Boxing Day, winning eight and drawing five.

 

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Watford 1-2 Chelsea

Sky Sports: Watford 1-2 Chelsea

Sportsmole: Watford 2-2 Chelsea


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