Chelsea vs Watford Preview: Can Blues bounce back from midweek disappointment?
Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea had their perfect start since football returned ended this week, with Andriy Yarmolenko scoring a late winner in a 3-2 defeat against West Ham United on Wednesday evening.   

For the second time this week, Lampard will be facing a relegation-threatened side, on this occasion they welcome Nigel Pearson’s Watford to Stamford Bridge who, thanks to Chelsea’s result on Wednesday, now sit just one place above the relegation zone, with only a point separating them and Aston Villa

The Hornets will look to put an end to a poor run of form, with them only picking up one point since the Premier League returned. 

Form

Before Wednesday's defeat to West Ham, Chelsea were the most in-form side in the whole of the Premier League since the restart, picking up two wins from two, and securing a place in the FA Cup semi-finals. 

Despite the defeat to West Ham, Chelsea have still won five of their previous seven games in all competitions, Lampard also has players hitting good runs of form, with Willian and Christian Pulisic providing five goals and three assists between them since the return of football. 

For Watford the story is very different, the Hornets have only won twice since their New Year's Day victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.  

Nigel Pearson’s side have lost four of their previous six outings, failing to score in three of those games.

Much like previous years, Watford have looked to captain Troy Deeney to provide goals. Whilst the frontman is Watford’s top scorer so far this season, Deeney only has six goals to his name, which is less than half of Chelsea’s top scorer Tammy Abraham who has 13. 

Head to head

Assessing previous meetings between Chelsea and Watford makes much better reading for the West Londoners, with the Blues winning five of their previous six meetings, with Watford having to look back to 2015 for the last time they took anything away from Stamford Bridge in a 2-2 draw. 

In the reverse fixture earlier this season, Chelsea came away from Vicarage Road 2-1 victors, with Watford unable to come back after opening goals from Abraham and Pulisic. Despite the game being played in November, Watford had only accumulated five points and were still winless in the Premier League. 

On that day, Watford were already on their second manager of the season with Quique Sanchez Flores being the man in charge, after he took over from Javi Gracia in September. 

Whatever Saturday’s result, goals should be expected, with this fixture producing 27 goals in the last six games between the two sides.

Team news

Chelsea: Frank Lampard has returned from lockdown without any major injury concerns or with any long-term issues and will be hoping to have an almost fully fit squad before welcoming Watford to Stamford Bridge on Saturday. 

Chelsea fans were pleased to see Callum Hudson-Odoi return to the Chelsea bench at West Ham, with the winger still struggling for match fitness. Another player yet to feature for Chelsea since the restart is Fikayo Tomori, with the defender also looking to get back to full match fitness following the restart.  

Watford: Nigel Pearson will continue to be without Gerard Deulofeu after he suffered an ACL injury in the Hornets 3-0 victory over Liverpool back in February. The Spaniard has proved a huge loss in a difficult period for the Hornets with him providing four goals and five assists for Watford this season and is set to be side-lined until August. 

Watford will also be without defender Craig Dawson, whose yellow card against Southampton last week meant he will face a one game ban. 

Other long-term injuries for the visitors include defender Daryl Janmaat and forward Issac Success

Predicted Lineups

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, James, Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Mount, Willian, Abraham, Pulisic 

Watford: Foster, Kiko, Cathcart, Kabasele, Masina, Capoue, Hughes, Sarr, Doucoure, Pereyra, Deeney  

Where to watch

Saturday’s clash between the Blues and the Hornets kicks off at 8:00pm on Saturday evening and is live on Sky Sports. 

 

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