After a disappointing loss to bottom side Crystal Palace at the weekend, Chelsea will look to rebound against this year’s early surprise package Watford, who softened the blow of Chelsea’s loss by beating Arsenal on Saturday.
Chelsea have had an inconsistent start to the season. They have grabbed some fantastic results such as their 2-1 win away to Atletico Madrid and their 2-1 win at Wembley against Tottenham, but they have also had some bitterly disappointing losses, like the 3-2 loss to Burnley on the opening day and the 2-1 loss to Palace on Saturday. After their nutty 3-3 draw at home against Roma on Wednesday, Chelsea will have to pick themselves up and be prepared to face a Watford side that is unbeaten away from home and currently above the Blues in the table.
Watford continued their strong start to the season with a last minute winner against Arsenal. This was surprisingly Watford’s first home win of the season, but they’ve more than made up for that poor home form on their travels. They have won 10 points from their four away matches and have outscored their opponents eight to three in those matches. While they are yet to face a real challenge away from home, they’ll hope to catch this already out of form Chelsea side tired, as this will be the Blues third match in seven days.
Chelsea lost more than just two points against Roma on Wednesday as both David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko picked up knocks and are doubts for the game on Saturday, according to Physioroom.com. Along with those two, N’Golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater, and Victor Moses are all likely to miss out, according to Physioroom.com.
Watford are putting their large squad to work early in the season. According to Physioroom.com, Isaac Success, Nathaniel Chalobah, Younes Kaboul, Craig Cathcart, Sebastian Prodel, and Tommie Hoban are all expected to miss out on Saturday.
Chelsea: Eden Hazard
After saving Chelsea from an loss on Wednesday, Hazard will look to save Chelsea from what would be their fourth defeat in nine Premier League matches. The Belgian is about as good as it gets in the Premier League. From dribbling through defenses, to creating chances, to scoring goals, he can do it all and at times he may have to. The Blues have not always looked sharp in attack this season and may need their Belgian superstar to save them if they continue to struggle in that department. He may yet to be off the mark in the Premier League, but his two goals against Roma could prove that he is back to full sharpness after his long injury layoff.
Since the FA have refrained from banning him after going down controversially for a penalty against Arsenal, Richarlison is free to be a thorn in another London club’s side this weekend. The Brazilian has started his Watford career brilliantly. Along with his three goals his shot volume has been fantastic with 3.54 shots per 90 minutes and 2.72 shots per 90 minutes from inside the penalty area. He started Watford’s comeback against Arsenal last weekend and will hope to lead them over Chelsea this weekend.
Chelsea have shown they can bounce back from disappointment under Antonio Conte and will likely do so again here. Watford have started well away from home, but this is their first test against a top six side and it is hard to see Chelsea allowing the Hornets unbeaten away record to continue.
Prediction: 2-1 Chelsea