Chelsea v Watford Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
October 18, 2017
Stamford Bridge - Premier League
Watford travel to Stamford Bridge to face Premier League champions Chelsea on Saturday, on the back of a confidence boosting win over Arsenal last weekend.
Chelsea have a fantastic record in this fixture, winning 4-3 and 2-1 home and away respectively in the Premier League last season. In 2015-16 both sides played out two draws in the league, and Chelsea are currently unbeaten in 12 games against the Hornets. Watford's last win over Chelsea came back in 1999, through a 1-0 home win courtesy of an Allan Smart goal.
Alvaro Morata should be back in contention for Chelsea after overcoming a a hamstring injury suffered in the Blues' defeat to Manchester City, and the Spaniard could be in line to replace Michy Batshuayi in attack. Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is definitely without midfield star man N'Golo Kante, as the French international continues his recovery from a hamstring issue of his own.
Kante's former Leicester teammate Danny Drinkwater is still out with a calf strain, meaning Cesc Fabregas is likely to continue in midfield alongside Tiemoue Bakayoko. Victor Moses picked up an injury in last weekend's defeat to Crystal Palace, and his absence could mean a change of position for Cesar Azpilicueta or a rare start for Davide Zappacosta.
The visitors have a number of injury concerns ahead of this game, with Marco Silva set to rotate his squad. Midfield pair Isaac Success and Nathaniel Chalobah are both ruled out with knee injuries, and both players aren't likely to return to first team action until at least November.
Veteran defender Younes Kaboul is sidelined with a hamstring problem, as is Northern Ireland international Craig Cathcart who's struggling with a knee injury. Fellow defender Sebastian Prodl could be set for a return from a hamstring injury, as the Austrian international's back in first team training. He is however lacking in match fitness ahead of the weekend's games.
Chelsea v Watford Preview and Predictions
Watford's late win against Arsenal in their last outing will have boosted Silva's charges, and they face the champions full of confidence on Saturday. Chelsea's surprise defeat to Crystal Palace was a blow to Conte's side, particularly as it followed on from their loss to Manchester City.
Silva has pushed Watford up to the heady heights of fourth in the Premier League, two points ahead of their hosts this weekend. Normally a Chelsea win would be something of a formality in this game, but given their recent slip, and Watford's great form, a draw could be a decent option here, priced at 9/2. A Watford victory does look a little tempting at 12/1, but the hosts are strong favourites at 1/3.
Chelsea still pose a serious goal threat despite their back-to-back losses. They've only failed to score once this season in all competitions, which was against Arsenal in September. Alongside this, Watford have also failed to keep a clean sheet in their last four games in all competitions, conceding six against Manchester City, two against Arsenal and West Brom and one against Swansea. With this in mind a few goals might be on the cards in Saturday's early kick off, and an over 2.5 goals bet is priced at 4/7.
A 2-2 draw priced at 25/1
With Watford on an upward curve and Chelsea struggling to get themselves going in recent weeks, this game should be an intriguing encounter on Saturday lunchtime. Chelsea do have superior quality in the likes of Morata, Fabregas, Pedro, Willian and Eden Hazard, but Watford have shown real heart and organisation so far this season, and Chelsea will not dominate in the way they expect. Also the physical presence of Troy Deeney and Andre Gray up front for the visitors will unsettle a Chelsea backline missing the protection that Kante offers.
Alvaro Morata to score first at 9/4
Morata's exit due to injury against Manchester City was arguably a turning point in the game which contributed to Chelsea's eventual defeat, but the former Real Madrid man's back in action and Watford will be concerned. Morata has hit the ground running following his summer move to Stamford Bridge, netting seven goals in seven games in all competitions so far this season. His pace and aerial ability will be a problem for Watford, who are without key defenders in Kaboul, and likely to be without Prodl.