Monday, May 27, 2024

Prediction: Watford vs Chelsea

Prediction: Over 3.5 goals

Odds: 39/20

Bookmaker: 888Sport

Chelsea will be aiming to get back to winning ways on Boxing Day as they square off with high-flying Watford at Vicarage Road.

The Blues suffered their first home defeat of the campaign last time out so will desperately be attempting to claw themselves back into the title race against the Hornets. Meanwhile, Javi Gracia’s troops have won their last two games and will be hoping to continue their positive form.

Watford

It would be fair to say that not many expected Watford to be having such an excellent season. Under Spaniard Gracia, the Hornets are flying in seventh position in the Premier League table, only two points behind Manchester United. They come into the home clash against the Blues having won their last two games in league play; the first being a 3-2 win over Cardiff City, followed by a 2-0 success over West Ham United at the London Stadium. That win was even more important considering that it was their first clean sheet since a 3-0 success over Huddersfield Town in October.

Despite their so far impressive season, the Hornets have struggled at Vicarage Road in recent weeks. Prior to their victory over Cardiff, they had lost four out of their last five games on home soil. As a matter of fact, a win against Chelsea would make it back-to-back home wins for the first time since September.

Team News

Sebastian Prodl could potentially return to action for Watford having been suffering with a knee injury. However, the likes of Andre Gray, Daryl Janmaat, Will Hughes and Adalberto Peñaranda are all ruled out for the game. Gerard Deulofeu will be looking to have an impact once again having bagged in each of his last two games.

Chelsea

Having taken until mid-November to have tasted defeat for the first time in the Premier League, Maurizio Sarri has now lost three out of his last six games as Chelsea boss. Their latest defeat came in the form of a 1-0 loss to Leicester City last time out – their first home loss in the league under the Italian. The defeat was also only the third time that the Blues have failed to score in the league. As a result, the Blues now sit fourth in the table and look unlikely to mount a title challenge with them now being 11 points behind leaders Liverpool. It is fair to say then that the Londoners will want a reaction against Watford. Their past form does bode well having not suffered back-to-back league defeats since March 2018.

One aspect that does make Chelsea strong away from home is their excellent defensive record. The Blues have only conceded seven goals away from home in eight games. Only the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool can claim to better that highly impressive total.

Team News

Sarri could welcome back Alvaro Morata after he missed the last three games with a knee injury. The game could come too soon for Andreas Christensen who is suffering with a hamstring injury. Long-term absentees Victor Moses and Marco van Ginkel remain restricted to the sidelines.

Key Facts To Consider

  • Chelsea have the better record between the two teams (W17, D6, L10)
  • Watford won the last clash between the two 4-1 in February 2018
  • There has been an average of 3.4 goals scored between the two sides in the Premier League
  • There has only ever been two 0-0 draws between the two sides throughout history
  • Both teams have scored in each of the last four matches between the two teams

Conclusion

With both teams having their own aspirations of European football this season, this match could yet prove to be key. It will be a tough ask for Watford to pick up maximum points against a Chelsea outfit that will be desperate to get back to winning ways. It will be an intriguing battle between the two sides and fans at Vicarage Road should be treated to goals once again.

Prediction: Over 3.5 goals

Odds: 39/20

Bookmaker: 888Sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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