MX23RW : Tuesday, January 19 23:19:31| >> :60:33:33:
Jul 4, 2020 at 8pm UK at Stamford Bridge
ChelseaChelsea
3-0
WatfordWatford
Giroud (28'), Willian (43' pen.), Barkley (90+2')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Capoue (21'), Mariappa (49')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League fixture between Chelsea and Watford, including team news and predicted lineups.

Chelsea take on Watford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening knowing that three points may be required to retain their spot in the top four of the Premier League standings.

Meanwhile, Watford make the trip to West London knowing that victory could put the club as many as four points above the relegation zone with just five games remaining.


Match preview

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard applauds on January 11, 2020© Reuters

Having witnessed his side battle their way to victories against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Leicester City, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard would have expected more of the same against West Ham United on Wednesday evening.

However, despite dominating possession and creating the better chances, the Blues succumbed to a surprise 3-2 defeat against opponents who had struggled in their previous two outings.

The setback leaves Chelsea holding just a two-point lead over Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the race for a Champions League spot, significantly upping the stakes ahead of welcoming Watford to Stamford Bridge.

Although Lampard will naturally be excited by the performances of Christian Pulisic in the final third, he acknowledged earlier this week that he was less than impressed with the mistakes being made at the other end of the pitch.

To a large degree, their previous wins against strong opposition are no longer relevant, and Lampard will reiterate to his players that they have to deliver a response this weekend or face the possibility of dropping down to sixth place.

Despite Watford having gone on a four-match winless streak, Nigel Pearson will feel that their extra preparation time could prove decisive at the weekend.

That will be stressed to his squad in the days leading up to this game, and it may be what they require to get themselves out of a slump which is threatening their top-flight status.

With Villa and Bournemouth looking no closer to ending their own respective runs without a win ahead of games with Liverpool and Manchester United, Pearson knows that there is a window of opportunity for his team.

For the first time since the resumption, they are clear underdogs, but being given that tag in the past has generally led to Watford delivering a positive response during a pivotal period of their season.

Chelsea Premier League form: WDWWWL
Chelsea form (all competitions): WWWWWL

Watford Premier League form: LWLDLL


Team News

Emerson Palmieri pictured in August 2019© Reuters

Emerson Palmieri and Kurt Zouma will both expect to feature in the Chelsea starting lineup after the backline's poor showing against West Ham.

With Mateo Kovacic having sustained a knock on Wednesday night, Jorginho could come into the team for his first appearance since the resumption.

Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud may also get the nod over Ross Barkley and Tammy Abraham respectively.

Despite the defeat against Southampton, Pearson could opt against making too many alterations to his Watford side.

Although he has come through the last three games unscathed, Danny Welbeck is likely to remain among the replacements.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Palmieri; Kante, Jorginho; Willian, Mount, Pulisic; Giroud

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Femenia, Cathcart, Dawson, Masina; Hughes, Capoue; Sarr, Doucoure, Pereyra; Deeney


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Chelsea 2-1 Watford

With Watford having had a week to prepare for this contest, we are expecting a closely-fought match at Stamford Bridge. However, under pressure to improve after their setback in midweek, Chelsea could edge this game if Lampard freshens up his team.


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Miguel Almiron takes on Kurt Zouma during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Newcastle United on October 19, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leicester CityLeicester19122535211438
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd18114334241037
3Manchester CityMan City17105229131635
4Liverpool1897237211634
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
6Everton1710252821732
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham199552722532
8Chelsea1985633231029
9Southampton188552621529
10Arsenal198382319427
11Aston Villa1582529161326
12Leeds UnitedLeeds187293034-423
13Crystal Palace196582233-1123
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle185491830-1219
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
17Burnley17449922-1316
18Fulham172691425-1112
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1925121543-2811
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225

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