Antonio Conte will be desperate to see his side get back to winning ways against a Watford side that sit two points above Chelsea in the Premier League table.
Marco Silva’s Watford have only lost once in the league this season and will be buoyed by last weekend’s last-gasp victory over Arsenal.
Wednesday’s entertaining 3-3 draw with Roma in the Champions League highlighted the current lack of strength in depth in midfield areas for the Blues. N’Golo Kante’s continued absence is proving to be a huge issue and Conte may be tempted to switch to a more conventional 3-4-3 formation against the in-form Hornets. Incisive counter-attacking has been a hallmark of Chelsea’s game since Conte’s arrival and the 3-4-3 formation should offer enough penetration in forward areas.
Thibaut Courtois hasn’t kept a clean sheet for nearly a month and will be looking to put that right here. Andreas Christensen, Gary Cahill and Antonio Rudiger have all been in and out of the side in recent weeks but look set to form a central defensive trio against Marco Silva’s men.
Cesar Azpilicueta looked a little exposed against Roma and scored an own goal in the defeat at Palace last week but should keep his place in the team and move over to right wing-back whilst Marcos Alonso should retain his spot at left wing-back.
David Luiz deputised in midfield against Roma in an experimental move by Conte and looked assured, despite a few unnecessary lunges in the middle of the park and could retain his place there. Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas have started to develop a good understanding together, which should create additional space in front of them for Eden Hazard to operate in.
Alvaro Morata has scored 6 Premier League goals already this term and the Blues faithful will be delighted to see him back up front.
Predicted Starting XI
Where the Game Will Be Won or Lost
Chelsea have gone three matches in all competitions without a win, which is uncharted territory for Antonio Conte. They are creating lots of opportunities in forward areas without generating a huge goal return and they are affording too much space to opposition teams who are punishing them – a toxic combination. Watford are a footballing side; they will look to be positive on the ball and take the game to Chelsea, which could play into the hands of the Blues who tend to operate better on the counter-attack.
The pressure is mounting on Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side and Watford will arrive at the Bridge full of confidence. Alvaro Morata is back in contention for the Blues and with Eden Hazard back, fit and firing, the Blues should have too much quality in what promises to be a highly entertaining encounter.
Chelsea 2 – 1 Watford