Chelsea would look to bounce back from the dismal defeat against Bournemouth when they face Watford on Monday night. The Blues witnessed a shock 3-0 defeat at the hands of Bournemouth, who scored 3 goals in 16 remarkable second-half minutes on Wednesday.
Antonio Conte would be disgruntled by his side’s collapse mid-week and knowing that he has a week in hand to prepare for the next game, the Italian is expected to make some strong changes to his lineup.
For Watford, new manager Javi Gracia had a quiet first game, as his team were held to a goalless draw by Stoke City on Wednesday. Expect Gracia to name a strong side and give us a few problems on Monday.
Andreas Christensen suffered an injury against Bournemouth and Conte told after the game that the defender had injured his hamstring but that he doesn’t know the extent of the injury.
The manager, however, gave a positive update on David Luiz, citing that the Brazilian started training with the physical coach. Alvaro Morata has been missing from action for the past three games, first due to a suspension against Brighton, and then because of a back injury.
Meanwhile, Michy Batshuayi has gone on loan to Borussia Dortmund until the end of the season, while the Blues have signed Olivier Giroud from Arsenal and Emerson Palmieri from AS Roma.
Probable Chelsea XI
Manager: Antonio Conte
Thibaut Courtois (GK)
Courtois did make a return to the starting line-up against Bournemouth but failed to save the club from defeat after conceding three times in the second-half.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RCB)
Azpilicueta is possibly the most consistent defender we have and he should start the game at Watford.
Gary Cahill (CB)
The skipper has been subpar the entire season and Conte would hope that he returns back to form sooner than later.
Antonio Rudiger (LCB)
With Christensen suffering a hamstring problem, Rudiger becomes the ideal choice to replace him against Watford.
Victor Moses (RWB)
Given that Watford have been defensively naïve, Conte should pick Moses ahead of Zappacosta.
Marcos Alonso (LWB)
Not the ideal time to throw new signing Emerson Palmieri into the starting XI, so I am expecting Alonso to start and continue doing the job he has been doing meticulously since last season.
N’Golo Kante (CM)
Kante’s form has seen a major dip this season which has often left Chelsea’s defence exposed. The diminutive Frenchman will look to get back to his best as soon as possible.
Tiemoue Bakayoko (CM)
Chelsea’s first goal was all down to Tiemoue Bakayoko’s mistake, as he gave the ball away in the midfield. The former Monaco man is yet to adapt to the demands of the Premier League.
Cesc Fabregas (CAM)
Fabregas came on in the second half on Wednesday but failed to influence the game. Having attained full fitness, the Spaniard could be handed a start at Vicarage road.
Eden Hazard (SS)
In Morata’s absence, Hazard led the line but never threatened the Bournemouth defence. He is expected to be drawn deeper following the signing of Olivier Giroud.
Olivier Giroud (ST)
With Morata being a doubt for the game, Olivier Giroud should start. Conte has been crying his heart out for a backup striker and now that he has got Giroud, there is no better time to hand him a start.