Watford vs Chelsea betting, 26 DEC 18
After unexpected defeat to Leicester at Stamford Bridge last Saturday, Chelsea will be keen to immediately bounce back with a win on Boxing Day. So far this season they managed to return to winning ways after defeats, in a league at least, and it looks like Maurizio Sarri knows how to prepare his team for situations like this.
After 18 league games, Watford are sitting in 7th position, 10 points behind Chelsea, and 2 points behind Manchester United in sixth place. They ended their poor run of form of six games without a win, and are now looking for a third straight league win. In the previous two rounds, they managed to beat Cardiff at Vicarage Road and stunned West Ham with a comfortable 2-0 win last Saturday.
The Hornets are now looking for a third straight win, and if they manage to repeat last season’s success against Chelsea (4-1) this will be one of their best seasons in years.
Chelsea are still near the top of the table, but the home defeat to Leicester was their 3rd defeat of the season and even worse - their 3rd defeat in last six games. They are now already 9 points behind leaders Liverpool, and 5 points behind Spurs.
Watford vs Chelsea head to head
Last season’s 4-1 win against Chelsea at Vicarage Road was the Hornets’ first win in mutual meetings after 12 games. On the other hand, they failed to win back-to-back games against Chelsea since 1987.
Recent Premier League games between these two sides produced plenty of goals. Only one match since 2006 finished in a scoreless draw, and one match finished in a narrow 1-0 win for Chelsea - all the others produced 3 or more goals.
In the last 3 league games were scored 18 goals or six per game. Let’s hope that this Boxing day match and festive atmosphere can inspire both sides for another goal fest.
Last 4 games:
2018-02-05 Watford vs Chelsea 4:1(1:0)
2017-10-21 Chelsea vs Watford 4:2(1:1)
2017-05-15 Chelsea vs Watford 4:3(2:1)
2016-08-20 Watford vs Chelsea 1:2(0:0)
Watford vs Chelsea team news
Javi Gracia will probably field the same starting 11 he used in a win against Hammers. Gerard Deulofeu will be looking for another good display after scoring in the last two league games, while captain Troy Deeney will hope to improve his modest record this season after scoring from a penalty against West Ham.
The Hornets are without injured Will Hughes, Andre Gray, Sebastian Prodl and Adalberto Penaranda.
After being played as false nine in last few games for Chelsea, Eden Hazard should be back to his natural position with strikers Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud set to return to action in this league match.
Apart from injured defender Andreas Christensen, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri should be able to count on all of his first-team players.
Watford vs Chelsea predictions
The Blues love playing on Boxing Day. Their last defeat came against Charlton in 2003/2004 season, and since that 2-4 defeat at The Valley, they won 8 and tied 5 from 13 games.
Chelsea fans would be delighted if this tradition continues, as current form suggests that Chelsea won’t have an easy match at the Vicarage Road. However, they still should be considered as strong favorites.
Return of Giroud to the center forward role will mean much more physical presence up front and should allow playmaker Hazard to flourish at his favorite position of attacking midfielder.
Watford are one of the most unpredictable sides in the league, and their 5-0-4 record at home backs this claim. They made some fantastic results at Vicarage this season, like the 2-1 win against Tottenham, but they also were completely outplayed in the 0-4 defeat against Bournemouth for example.
This is a match Chelsea should win at the end of the day. In only a few weeks they went from title contenders to top-four chasers. Unai Emery’s Arsenal are already there, while the impressive start of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reign at Manchester United could be another possibility for a top-four finish at the end of the season.
Quality is definitely on the Blues’ side, history too. Betting wise, 3/4 (1.75) at guts.com for an away win in this match represents nice value.
History also suggests that this match should bring some goals, so Over 2.5 should be another decent punt, available at 8/11 (1.73) at William Hill. Both teams to score at 8/11 (1.73) at Betfred is another bet which is likely winner.