Chelsea vs Watford – Match Preview – Chelsea are looking to put a stop to their tailspin but face a difficult challenge to do so against the Premier League’s surprise package of the season, Watford.
After the immensely shocking 2-1 defeat to previously goalless and pointless Crystal Palace on the weekend, blowing a two-goal lead at home in the Champions League to Roma and needing Eden Hazard to equalise to earn a 3-3 draw was another blight on what has been a challenging start to the campaign for Antonio Conte’s team.
Despite winning the title relatively comfortably last year, rumblings of unhappiness were persistent throughout the summer and beyond – with Conte allegedly displeased with the club’s lack of transfer activity, or inability to secure the desired names.
Chelsea already find themselves nine points off the pace, both Manchester clubs have stormed ahead of the pack with Pep Guardiola’s City leading the way with 22 points after eight games. The Blues are in 5th, two points and one place outside of the Champions League places – the last of which is occupied by this week’s opponents Watford.
Whilst undoubtedly still a good side capable of beating anyone, as proven by the wonderful 2-1 victory in Madrid against Atletico in the Champions League, the standard has elevated in the Premier League yet again and greater consistency is imperative to challenge for the title, starting with a win here against Marco Silva’s Watford.
The Hornets have rightfully earned many plaudits so far this season, a dramatic last-gasp 2-1 win over Arsenal, via an injury-time Tom Cleverley goal, last time out embodies the never-say-die attitude Silva has instilled throughout the team.
Once again the club and the Pozzos have utilised their vast scouting network to recruit well, Richarlison in particular looking like an excellent acquisition.
Though many would expect Chelsea to return to winning ways, Watford have an exceptional away record to date, with only Spurs and City bettering the three wins and a draw secured by Silva’s side at this stage.
Additionally, the only side to claim all three points against Watford in the league this year are the all-conquering Manchester City.
It is fair to say that their current 4th place is well above expectations, but in a well-oiled team under a very good manager, Leicester City proved that the impossible is possible. Either way, you can be sure The Hornets will be finishing above their 17th position from last year.
Chelsea will still be massive favourites, however, having not suffered defeat against Watford in the last 12 meetings between the teams. Last season, we were treated to an enthralling 4-3 in this fixture. Let’s hope for more of the same.
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