Chelsea face Watford in the Premier League tonight at 20:00 (UK), with a victory needed more than ever. The results from today’s game included wins from Manchester United and Leicester City, meaning Chelsea dropped out of the top four for the first time since October.
Obviously with the game in hand, Chelsea will have to get all three points to try and stay in the top four, with the race being a lot tighter than expected, after the Blues’ very disappointing loss against West Ham midweek.
Football is being played every three days for most clubs, and Chelsea will have to try and forget their woes in the London Derby and start with a fresh mind. Since the restart, we have beaten Aston Villa, Manchester City and Leicester. All three games had many positives to take, and the Blues will want to replicate that in tonight’s game.
With games coming thick and fast, injuries were inevitable. Mateo Kovacic and Fikayo Tomori are out of today’s squad as confirmed by Frank Lampard yesterday, with Watford also missing Gerard Deulofeu, Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success.
Last time we played Watford, Chelsea marginally won 2-1. Jorginho provided the assist of the season to Tammy Abraham who chipped the keeper, and Pulisic scored a tap in after some great movement which gave prime Frank Lampard vibes. The last 30 minutes were definitely not the easiest though. Although Jorginho and Kovacic played some of the best football together, the Italian midfielder gave away a cheap penalty which they tucked away, and Kepa had to make an outstanding save in the last few seconds from Ben Foster!
The Jorginho and Kovacic partnership certainly worked at Vicarage Road, with there being so much space and them easily gliding past the midfielders. Despite Gilmour’s terrible performance against Leicester in the FA Cup, this could be the perfect game for him to thrive in. Will he start though? Let’s have a look at my predicted lineup…
Kepa has definitely had a shaky start, and the latest reports suggest that his future at the club could depend on these remaining 6 games in the Premier League. Although his performances haven’t been good enough, Caballero isn’t much better and the Spaniard needs to try and gain confidence quickly.
The back line is hard to guess, and there is a chance we could even see the return of a three at the back formation. I have chosen Azpilicueta at Left-Back after Alonso’s disastrous performance, and it also is a chance to give Reece James so more minutes in his natural position after not impressing. Arguably, both Christensen and Rudiger deserve to be dropped after their disasterclass midweek, but the German drops out for my predicted lineup after making too many mistakes. If Frank wants leadership, he should have enough with Azpilicueta and Jorginho ahead of him.
Talking of Jorginho, I do expect him to start. He hasn’t played a single minute since the restart, with Lampard preferring the likes of Gilmour, Barkley, Kante, Kovacic, Mount and Loftus-Cheek all ahead of him. Despite this, there is no doubt he is an important player in the dressing room while being vice-captain and with the Croatian out, I can see him getting a start. On the other hand, Frank has definitely made it clear he wants to play with the traditional CDM role with two 8’s either side, but it will be interesting to see if he reverts back to the system used mainly for the last two seasons. Mason Mount is almost guaranteed to start as his importance to the team becomes clearer every single game, with his pressing abilities and moving the ball quickly. Kante is one of Lampard’s favourites players and rightly so, therefore it would be unlikely to see him on the bench, however he does need a rest at some stage.
It is also likely that we will see a Giroud, Pulisic, Willian front three. All three have impressed massively, with the American being our best player by far, Willian playing like prime Ronaldinho, and Giroud not being amazing, but definitely offering more to the team than Tammy Abraham. Hudson-Odoi will probably be on the bench and hopefully he can get some minutes as a substitute, and Pedro was not even in the squad last game so there’s a very little chance he will be in the starting lineup.
Chelsea should be looking to win this game comfortable, and I think the Blues will. Lampard will make it very clear to the players that nothing less than a win will be unacceptable, and hopefully a big whack in the head will wake up the players.
I’m going for a comfortable 3-1 victory for the best club in London. What are you going for? Let us know on our social media platforms!