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Nov 2, 2019 at 5.30pm UK
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Preview: Watford vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Watford vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Premier League fixture between Watford and Chelsea.

Chelsea make the trip to Watford in the Premier League on Saturday evening looking to strengthen their hold of fourth position in the top-flight standings.

As for the Hornets, they remain in bottom spot having failed to record a win in their opening 10 matches.


Having recorded three successive draws in the Premier League, there is a feeling that Watford are improving under the guidance of the recently-appointed Quique Sanchez Flores.

However, the club now sit four points adrift of safety, and the urgency to get their first top-flight win on the board will intensify with each game that passes without success.

The big plus for Sanchez Flores is that his players have managed to shake off the humiliation of conceding eight goals at Manchester City on September 21, with just three goals being shipped in their last four league outings.

Nevertheless, the Hornets remain short of strikes in the final third, and Flores is aware that they must begin to show a clincial side to their game going forward if they are to get themselves out of trouble.

Their upcoming fixtures are somewhat favourable, with Norwich City, Burnley and Southampton to come after the showdown with the Blues, but Watford would benefit significantly if they can take the scalp of their in-form opponents.

Just one victory has come from their last 16 Premier League fixtures, a period which began in the aftermath of their dramatic FA Cup semi-final success over Wolverhampton Wanderers in April.

Few could have predicted that Watford would lose their way in such fashion, although the majority of the same players remain at the club to turn their fortunes around.

With back-to-back clean sheets coming in home games to Sheffield United and Bournemouth, Sanchez Flores may encourage his team to seize the moment this weekend, aware that only the most optimistic of fans will feel that they can prevail over the 90 minutes.

Recent form: DLLDDD
Recent form (all competitions): WLDDDL


Despite the disappointment of losing to Manchester United in the EFL Cup fourth round on Wednesday night, Frank Lampard was quick to highlight that Chelsea are still looking at the long-term picture, rather than becoming fixated on their short-term progress.

Nevertheless, the West Londoners ultimately under-performed at Stamford Bridge, and it reiterated that this group of players are far from the finished article.

The result, in some way, justifies Lampard's efforts to prevent too much praise being given to his team in light of a seven-match winning streak in all competitions.

With that run having now been ended, Lampard may feel that his players can get back to going about their business with fewer expectations, something which can arguably only benefit them in the coming months.

That said, an away game at the bottom-placed team will be viewed as an excellent opportunity to strengthen their grip on a top-four spot in the table, with some of their direct rivals having struggled for consistency in recent weeks.

Chelsea head into the game having put together four successive wins on the road in the Premier League, which includes last weekend's 4-2 success at Burnley.

Christian Pulisic contributed a perfect hat-trick at Turf Moor, although the United States international may have to remain patient in his bid to hold down a regular spot in this team.

The same could be said of Tammy Abraham who, despite being the club's top goalscorer, has only contributed two strikes from nine outings in all competitions.

Recent form: WLWWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWWL

Team News

Having been left out against Man United, Cesar Azpilicueta, Fikayo Tomori and Willian are all expected to return for Chelsea.

Mason Mount and Abraham should also be named in the team, while Pulisic is likely to get the nod over Callum Hudson-Odoi.

N'Golo Kante is not expected to be involved, despite his imminent return to training after a groin problem, while no risks will be taken on Antonio Rudiger and Emerson Palmieri.

Andreas Christensen and Ross Barkley may have to come through fitness tests after hamstring and ankle injuries respectively.

Watford also have numerous fitness concerns, with Troy Deeney, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley all set to remain on the sidelines.

Etienne Capoue is also a major doubt, meaning that Nathaniel Chalobah and Will Hughes are in contention to start in midfield.

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Kabasele, Dawson, Cathcart; Janmaat, Capoue, Chalobah, Doucoure, Holebas; Deulofeu, Pereyra

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Alonso; Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Mount, Pulisic; Abraham

Head To Head

Saturday's match will represent the 36th competitive meeting between the sides, with Chelsea registering 19 wins in comparison to 10 victories for Watford.

Nine games have taken place since 2015, eight of which have led to the Blues earning six triumphs and two draws in all competitions.

Watford's one success came by a 4-1 scoreline at Vicarage Road in February 2018.

We say: Watford 1-2 Chelsea

Lampard made the decision to play several of his regulars in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, something we feel could have a bearing on this match. However, the Blues should have enough quality to edge out their hosts at Vicarage Road.

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