LIVE on BT Sport 1 on Wednesday night Watford host Chelsea. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) shares his views.
Watford v Chelsea | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport 1
These sides met on Boxing Day at Stamford Bridge but even though that was just over a month ago both have had gone off in different directions since.
Chelsea arrived that day under a cloud with fans still fizzing over Jose Mourinho getting sacked nine days earlier and a poisonous atmosphere in their previous game still hanging over the club.
Watford had their eye on a Champions League berth after a run of four consecutive wins (including a 3-0 thrashing of Liverpool) that put them within touching distance of the promised land.
On that Boxing Day Guus Hiddink officially retook charge of Chelsea for the first time and that was enough for them to secure a 2-2 draw against the plucky promoted club. In the context of Chelsea’s season it was a decent result.
Since that festive day Chelsea have remained unbeaten. Four wins from their next seven followed with impressive victories over Arsenal and Crystal Palace in the league and a shellacking of MK Dons in the Cup as recently as Sunday.
A win here would put them within a point of the Hertfordshire side and keep them in the race to finish in the European places. The Top 4 still looks massively out of reach.
Watford were 10 points ahead of Chelsea on Boxing Day morning but since then have won just one game in the league and suffered four consecutive defeats between late-December and mid-January.
To be fair to Quique Sanchez Flores’ side though their January fixture list wasn’t kind. Losing by the odd goal to Manchester City and Tottenham is hardly a crime, nor a 2-0 loss at St Mary’s but yes the 1-0 defeat at Swansea was cause for concern.
Chelsea are odds on here, but I’m still not at the stage where I can back them at those prices against an impressive outfit like Watford. How will John Terry’s announcement on Sunday affect them? Probably inspire them (and him) to be fair.
I think this will be a grind for Chelsea but they might just get the job done. Watford have scored in every game at Vicarage Road since mid-October and that has to come into my mind of thinking.
I still need to see more to be backing Chelsea at odds on in these type of games but I will back them at 11/4 to win by exactly one goal and I’ll dip into the Correct Scores and avail myself of 2-1 and 3-1 wins.
Watford v Chelsea – Chelsea to win by exactly one goal (11/4 Stan James)
Watford v Chelsea – Chelsea to win 2-1 (9/1 BetVictor)
Watford v Chelsea – Chelsea to win 3-1 (18/1 Bet365)
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