Antonio Conte will be hoping to see a rejuvenated Chelsea side when they take the field against Watford in the Premier League on Sunday. The Hornets manager Javi Gracia will take charge of only his second league game for his new club, and it will undoubtedly be his toughest challenge yet.
Chelsea’s last league contest was arguably their worst of the season. Relegation candidates Bournemouth visited Stamford Bridge, and everyone thought a one-sided victory was on the cards for the hosts. However, Eddie Howe’s men spoil the party for the Blues and picked up three points on the day.
To add to Chelsea’s erratic form, their manager too, isn’t in the happiest state of mind as doubts continue to loom about his future at the club. Whether or not he can inspire his team to bounce back after the midweek defeat, remains to be seen.
Misfiring striker Alvaro Morata continues to be ruled out through injury and personal reasons. This could see January recruit Olivier Giroud make his debut for the Blues and is expected to lead the line from the outset for Chelsea.
In defence, the visitors will miss the services of Andreas Christensen. The Dane has been withdrawn on numerous occasions in matches because of injury and his hamstring concern will ensure that he plays no part in Monday’s game. David Luiz is also ruled out while Willian is expected to pass a late fitness test if he is to stand a chance of featuring.
For Watford, keeper Heurelho Gomes’ persisting back injury will keep him out of the fourth game in a row. While Younes Kaboul (foot), Miguel Britos (ankle), Kiko Femenia, Will Hughes (both hamstring), Isaac Success, Craig Cathcart, and Nathaniel Chalobah (all knee) are also ruled out of the contest (Sky Sports).
Watford: Karnezis; Mariappa, Prodl, Kabasele, Holebas; Pereyra, Capoue, Doucoure; Duelofeu, Deeney, Richarlison
Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso; Pedro, Giroud, Hazard.
Watford 1-2 Chelsea
Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from the Bournemouth result and will go all guns blazing into this one. They are certainly going to attack from the word go and will be matched by Watford. However, it seems a far fetched expectation to see the Hornets coming away with anything from this game.