Watford started their campaign with a draw at Southampton and were perhaps lucky to escape with a point. They started well and took the lead, but then Southampton were the much better side. Mazzarri used a 3-5-2 formation, which suits the Watford squad, but they need a ball carrier to improve their transition play.

There are rumours that Roberto Pereyra could be moving to Watford, which would solve those problems. In many of the pre-season previews, Watford were somewhat forgotten and have been written off as relegation candidates.

However, Mazzarri looks to have the right idea and if they make one or two quality additions, they will have a dangerous side.

Antonio Conte was the centre of attention on Monday night and he showed that he can make changes to affect the game. He opted to take off Willian and Eden Hazard for Victor Moses and Pedro.

It was an odd call at the time, but it paid off and Chelsea managed to score the winning goal. He isn’t afraid to make big calls and that is required at Stamford Bridge. The first indications were good and a lot of players looked much better than they did last season.

Oscar and Nemanja Matic were two notable examples. It will take time for Chelsea to return to the title-winning side that they were in 2014/15, but the improvements on Monday were clear.

Team News

Watford: New signing Isaac Success is back in contention after a muscle strain and he could be involved on Saturday. Brice Dja Djedje won’t be available to make his debut until September as he is suffering from a foot injury. Ben Watson will be missing through suspension after his red card during the club’s opening match against Southampton.

Watford Predicted Line-up: Gomes; Cathcart, Prodl, Britos; Amrabat, Guedioura, Behrami, Capoue, Holebas; Deeney, Ighalo.       

Chelsea: Kurt Zouma will be missing until October, which creates a shortage at the back. Chelsea needs to bring in another centre-back as they are only one injury away from a crisis in that position. Cesc Fabregas didn’t feature during the opening match, but he could be in contention to play a part this weekend.

Chelsea Predicted Lineup: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic; Kante; Fabregas, Matic, Willian; Hazard; Costa.

Key Stats

Etienne Capoue’s goal for Watford during their opening day draw to Southampton was his first for the club.

Chelsea are used to starting quickly, as they have secured more points (54) on the opening day that any other side in Premier League history.

Betting Odds

Watford win: 19/4

Draw: 14/5

Chelsea win: 7/10


Watford have been undervalued by some and they have the basis of a good team. They need to make one or two additions before the window closes, but exciting times are ahead for the club.

This match against Chelsea is a tough test and one that I expect them to fail as the Blues will have too much attacking threat for them to deal with. These aren’t the fixtures that Watford need to get anything from, but I expect them to put up a fight and be tough to beat.

Eden Hazard and Diego Costa looked dangerous during Chelsea’s opening match and the quality gap will make the difference.

Watford 1-2 Chelsea



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