Preview: Watford vs. Chelsea 

Preview: Watford vs. Chelsea 

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.

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.

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:
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Chelsea Premier League form:
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Chelsea form (all competitions):
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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.

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