October 9, 2019 | News | No Comments
The Blues are faltering in the winter period and now face a tricky away trip to a local rival in their Boxing Day fixture
Chelsea have been inconsistent since the final international break of the season at the end of November and they could do with a win against Watford on Wednesday.
A run of three wins in a row was brought to a halt by Leicester City, who shocked Stamford Bridge, pulling off a 1-0 win on Saturday afternoon as Chelsea wasted a host of chances.
This comes as the battle for the top four places sees little margin for error, with Tottenham on a run of exceptional form and Arsenal sitting just behind fourth placed Chelsea on goal difference.
Alvaro Morata is back in contention but he didn’t make the bench for Leicester’s recent visit to west London. Gary Cahill also returned and Victor Moses is back in training but both players remain on the fringes at Stamford Bridge.
Andreas Christensen is the only major doubt having suffered a hamstring injury last week in Chelsea’s Carabao Cup win over Bournemouth.
Neither Chelsea nor Watford have any players suspended for the match.
Eden Hazard has operated as a false 9 for Chelsea in three matches so far for Sarri and the Belgian’s central influence has seen his side win two of those games.
Sarri also seems to have settled on a preferred XI, with Kepa Arrizabalaga, Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso and N’Golo Kante having started all of the Blues’ Premier League games.
The battle for places comes down to Willian and Pedro in attacking berths, while in midfield Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are aiming to prove that they are the best option. The Watford game is sandwiched between the recent defeat to Leicester and an upcoming away trip to Crystal Palace, so rotation is to be expected.
Andre Gray is expected to remain out, having missed the past two weeks with a knee injury. Will Hughes has a hip problem to contend with and is unlikely to make the home match against the FA Cup winners.
Sebastian Prodl is also working on coming back from a knee injury.
The match at Vicarage Road kicks off at 7:30pm GMT (2:30pm ET) on Wednesday and it will be shown on Sky Sports in the UK.