Vicarage Road is the venue as Watford and Chelsea go head-to-head in Wednesday’s Premier League showdown.
The sides will meet in contrasting circumstances, with the Hornets hovering only four points clear of the drop zone after losing five of their last seven league outings.
Claudio Ranieri’s return to the King Power Stadium at the weekend didn’t go according to plan, with the former Leicester City hero suffering a clear-cut 4-2 defeat to his ex-employers.
Another encounter against another of his former employers could pour more misery on his underperforming Watford side, with Chelsea taking the field amid a purple patch.
Thomas Tuchel’s men head into proceedings on an eye-catching seven-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, keen to bounce back from a 1-1 derby draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Despite unleashing 24 attempts on goal compared with the Red Devils’ mere six, the reigning Champions League holders could only manage a stalemate.
With second-placed Manchester City whittling down the gap to a single point, Chelsea can ill-afford a slip-up against Watford if they are to remain at the summit.
Watford vs Chelsea Head-to-Head
Watford’s recent Premier League meetings with Chelsea have been all but one-sided affairs, with the London heavyweights landing seven victories across their last eight H2Hs in the competition.
The signs are ominous for the Hornets, as they’ve conceded an average of 2.6 goals per match across that eight-game sequence, highlighting the potential for another leaky evening.
As for Chelsea, back-to-back 2-1 victories at Vicarage Road across their last two Premier League visits mean they could register three successive wins at this venue for the first time in the competition’s history.
Watford Team News
A squad selection is likely to give Ranieri a sizeable headache going into this match, with several key first-team players facing the race against time to regain full fitness.
Peter Etebo and Nicolas N’Kolou are unavailable to injuries, but the potential absence of a couple of headline performers, including Ismaila Sarr and Emannuel Dennis, could be the real issue.
The star duo, who played a vital role as Watford vanquished Man United 4-1 at home a fortnight ago, has picked up knocks in the build-up to this clash and might have to remain on the sidelines.
Chelsea Team News
Ben Chilwell has yet to recover from a knee injury, while Mateo Kovacic is still struggling with a muscle strain.
Other than the two, N’Golo Kante is the only remaining Chelsea player who may have to skip the trip to Vicarage Road due to a knee problem.
Tuchel welcomed Romelu Lukaku back from a month of absence as the Belgian striker made a late cameo appearance against Man United at the weekend.
Given Timo Werner’s uneventful showing at Stamford Bridge, the ex-Inter Milan star is likely to return to the starting line-up this time around.
Watford vs Chelsea Predicted Line-ups
Watford (4-1-4-1): Daniel Bachmann; Kiko Femenia, Craig Cathcart, William Troost-Ekong, Danny Rose; Imran Louza; Cucho Hernandez, Tom Cleverley, Moussa Sissoko, Joshua King; Joao Pedro.
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Edouard Mendy; Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger; Reece James, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso; Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount; Romelu Lukaku.