- Both teams scored in six of the last seven meetings between Chelsea and Watford.
- The Blues came out on top in five of those games.
- Chelsea won each of their last three Premier League home games.
- Watford won just one of their last 10 top flight fixtures.
Chelsea hit a bump in the road
Chelsea’s pursuit of a top-four finish hit an unexpected stumbling block in mid-week when they lost 3-2 at West Ham, on what was a dramatic evening’s football in the capital.
First and second half strikes from Willian had helped to cancel out Irons’ goals from Tomas Soucke and Michail Antonio, however, with just minutes on the clock and the Blues chasing a winner, substitute Andriy Yarmolenko raced clear on the counter to win it for the hosts.
After the last gasp defeat against his former club, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was understandably fuming, though the knock-on effect on the league standings after the loss was as hard hitting as the manager’s critique, leaving the 4th placed Blues just two points clear of Man Utd and Wolves behind them in 5th and 6th position respectively.
Chelsea, who won five games on the spin before their shock result at the London Stadium, are just a point off 3rd spot themselves however, and with an FA Cup semi final already in the bank, Lampard can still oversee a hugely positive finish to the 2019/20 campaign.
Hornets hoping to rediscover their sting
Following a six-day rest between games, Watford will hope to have some extra energy to call on for their tough looking trip to Stamford Bridge, though their form since the restart suggests they will struggle to salvage a positive result in West London.
Watford came out of the blocks in decent style when they rescued a point at the death at home to out-of-form Leicester, though successive defeats to Burnley and Southampton were a reminder of the uphill task they face to avoid the drop this season.
The Hornets in 17th, are still just one point clear of Aston Villa and Bournemouth in 18th and 19th position behind them, and having watched his team win just once in 10 Premier League attempts, Nigel Pearson must be fearing the worst.
Chelsea to recover quickly
With their manager’s words still ringing in their ears after their mid-week mishap, Chelsea will be determined to get straight back into the winning groove against Watford this weekend.
The Blues won each of their last three Premier League home games, putting tough opponents Tottenham, Everton and Man City to the sword – and a fixture against relegation candidates Watford should prove an easier test to navigate.
Chelsea, carrying a poor record of just one clean sheet from their last 10 Premier League run outs, have priority problems at centre-half to address this summer however and don’t look like keeping anyone out at present, and a Watford attack that plundered goals in 11 of their last 15 top-flight tussles should be able to notch a consolation effort this weekend.
Both teams found the net in six of their last seven encounters between Chelsea and Watford, and with the aforementioned factors considered, coupling a home win with a both teams to score market looks excellent value again for Saturday’s game.
The Blues got the better of Watford in five of those seven fixtures, and having turned them over 2-1 at Vicarage Road in the reverse Premier League duel between the clubs in November, our correct score predictions forecasts a similar outcome.
Two of the wins in Chelsea’s recent three game winning streak at home were secured by 2-1 scorelines, and we’re backing the Blues to replicate that winning margin again here.
Key Battle – Antonio Rudiger vs Troy Deeney
German centre-half Antonio Rudiger was torn to shreds this week after his poor showing in Chelsea’s unexpected 3-2 loss at West Ham on Wednesday evening.
The 27-year-old has probably had more bad games than good in 2020, and Rudiger will have to improve quickly between now and the end of the season to avoid being replaced by Frank Lampard during the transfer window.
Watford talisman Troy Deeney has the knowhow and skill-set to ruffle a few of Rudiger’s feathers on Saturday, and while the targetman’s return of one goal in eight appearances is poor, the 32-year-old doesn’t need a run form to make an impact.
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