MX23RW : Thursday, January 20 13:48:19| >> :60:116:116:
Dec 1, 2021 at 7.30pm UK at Vicarage Road
Dennis (43')
Louza (45'), Troost-Ekong (45+4'), Cleverley (84'), Rose (84')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Mount (29'), Ziyech (72')
Niguez (16'), Alonso (45+2'), Ziyech (65')

Preview: Watford vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Premier League clash between Watford and Chelsea, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With the gap at the top of the table now cut to just one point, Chelsea will aim to make an immediate return to winning ways in the Premier League during Wednesday's London derby with Watford.

While Thomas Tuchel's side were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United, the Hornets went down 4-2 to Leicester City in tough conditions.

Match preview

 Watford manager Claudio Ranieri, November 20, 2021© Reuters

Leicester fans were cheering in the thousands before kickoff against Watford when revered Premier League title-winner Claudio Ranieri stepped back out onto the King Power touchline, and the home crowd would be the ones chanting and celebrating throughout the 90 minutes of action as well.

Jamie Vardy and James Maddison stole the show with multiple goal contributions as Emmanuel Dennis and Joshua King scoring nothing more than mere consolations, with Ranieri's topsy-turvy start to life back in England continuing at his old home.

Having failed to keep the momentum going from their drubbing of Manchester United, the Hornets are down in 16th with 13 points taken from a possible 39 this term, but they are four clear of the relegation zone and cannot drop below the dotted line just yet.

Chelsea ought to be wary of what Watford can do on home soil if they have done their homework on the Hornets' thumping of Man United, but they lost four and drew one of their five Vicarage Road fixtures before that and have already shipped 12 goals at home this term - only Newcastle United have let in more.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel on November 28, 2021© Reuters

Before he seeks a surprise success in the Ballon d'Or, Jorginho went from zero to hero against Michael Carrick's Man United, as a heavy touch from the Italian allowed Jadon Sancho to race clear and open the scoring at Stamford Bridge.

Nearly 20 minutes after his error, the Euro 2020 winner produced his trademark hop, skip and jump penalty to restore parity after Thiago Silva was felled by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, although that was definitely two points dropped rather than one gained for the Blues.

Tuchel's European champions still lead the way at the top of the table with 30 points from a possible 39, but they are now only one clear of Manchester City, while Liverpool are also within touching distance and ready to pounce on any more underwhelming results.

Chelsea may have dropped points in back-to-back home matches in the top flight, but away from home is where Tuchel's side have excelled - winning their last four league games on the road without conceding - and they are the only team in the Premier League yet to lose on rival turf this term.

Chelsea claimed a pair of 3-0 and 2-1 victories over Watford during the 2019-20 Premier League season and have won their last four against the Hornets in the top flight, but the hosts memorably thrashed Antonio Conte's Blues 4-1 at Vicarage Road in February 2018.

Watford Premier League form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Chelsea Premier League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D

Chelsea form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their first goal on September 11, 2021© Reuters

Watford have been handed two fresh injury concerns with Emmanuel Dennis and Adam Masina following the Leicester defeat - the former remains a doubt but Masina could be passed fit.

First-choice goalkeeper Ben Foster missed the King Power loss with a groin strain, taking his place on the sidelines with Nicolas N'Koulou, Peter Etebo, Kwadwo Baah, Ismaila Sarr, Ken Sema and Francisco Sierralta.

The injury-hit Hornets do have options for change in the full-back positions with Jeremy Ngakia and Danny Rose, while Joao Pedro will hope for an opportunity up top with Dennis doubtful.

As for the visitors, Romelu Lukaku was only fit enough for a substitute cameo against Man United but could be ready to start here, although N'Golo Kante is likely to remain out.

Tuchel will definitely not have Ben Chilwell or Mateo Kovacic at his disposal either, with Saul Niguez and Ross Barkley pining for opportunities in Chelsea's depleted midfield, and Tuchel has also conceded that Jorginho, Reece James and Timo Werner will need assessing.

Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta will surely come into consideration for starts in defence, and Mason Mount should be well enough to rejoin the attack.

Watford possible starting lineup:
Bachmann; Ngakia, Cathcart, Troost-Ekong, Rose; Kucka, Sissoko, Tufan; Hernandez, Pedro, King

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Barkley, Alonso; Mount, Havertz; Lukaku

SM words green background

We say: Watford 0-2 Chelsea

Any hopes of Watford repeating their recent 4-1 thrashing of Man United or similar 2018 success against the Blues will surely be dashed here, with Ranieri's depleted outfit no match for a freshened-up Chelsea.

Tuchel's side have conceded just one goal on the road all season and have bountiful options for rotation in the final third, so we can only envisage the Blues returning to winning ways comfortably.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:curl

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