Chelsea host Watford in this Saturday’s early kick-off, with both teams having big points to prove following shock results last weekend.
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea and Marco Silva’s Watford will both be looking to prove that the results they achieved last week weren’t mere flashes in the pan with Chelsea’s shock 2-1 loss away to a resurgent Crystal Palace coming out of nowhere, much like Watford’s 2-1 home win against Arsenal.
Watford sit two points above Chelsea in fourth, yet have a goal difference of zero, compared to Chelsea’s five. Watford have also picked up more points in their last five games (W3/D1/L1) than the champions (W2/D1/L2).
Watford’s confidence will be crucial in getting a result on Saturday. Going to Stamford Bridge is never an easy task and Watford have never taken home more than a point from a visit and have only ever beaten Chelsea in the Premier League once.
However, with Watford on a high and Chelsea on a distinct low, Watford may be able to take something away here. A large responsibility lies on Chelsea’s home fans, who may have to produce a display like the marvellous one Crystal Palace fans bestowed on their team a week prior.
After last Saturday’s loss to Crystal Palace, Conte will be glad to see that summer signing, Alvaro Morata, is fit again following a hamstring injury.
Understudy Michy Batshuayi gave an almost pitifully disappointing display against Palace, registering only a single touch in Palace’s box in almost an hour on the field.
Problems persist elsewhere for the Chelsea manager, with star midfielder N’Golo Kanté still out until November, again with a hamstring injury; a trend that seems to be plaguing the current Premier League title holders.
For Watford, centre back Sebastian Prödl could return in defence, whilst notable absentees Isaac Success and Nathaniel Chalobah remain side-lined until further notice.
Captain Troy Deeney’s galvanising presence, coming on against Arsenal, would have been surely noticed by Silva. While Andre Gray played a suitable striking role himself, the effect Deeney had joining play in the 63rd minute was sensational.
Fans will be eager to find out whether Silva uses him once again as a super-sub or plays him from the start.
On the pitch, however, Chelsea seem to have more technical prowess, having conceded more goals than Watford and hold a far superior passing accuracy this season, (81% compared to Watford’s 76.8%.) From a tactical and technical aspect, Chelsea should have the edge on Saturday.
Final score prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Watford.