Antonio Conte’s men fell to a surprising defeat at Stamford Bridge earlier this week as Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side put three past the Blues, giving them a scare. This has pushed the title-holders in the 4th place in the points table, just a point behind Liverpool, who drew with Spurs on Sunday. They will look to get back their 3rd place, when they travel to the Vicarage Road for a Monday-night kick-off in the league this week.
Watford, who are now under Javi Garcia, drew against Stoke in the previous round but are without a victory since the turn of the year. Conte will believe that his side can bounce back into form and walk away with all three points and here is the predicted lineup he might field for this tie:
The visitors have a number of first teams stars missing for this game. The likes of Andreas Christensen, Alvaro Morata and January signing Ross Barkley are all ruled out for this game. Willian and David Luiz are expected to be back from knocks and up for selection while the likes of Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieri, who only joined the club last month, could both be in action in this game.
Expected lineup (3-4-3):
Thibaut Courtois remains the first choice shot-stopper for Conte and is one of the first names on the team sheet for the Blues this season. He should start on goal, with Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta starting on the right side of a 3-man backline.
Antonio Rudiger, who replaced Christensen in the previous games, should start at the heart of the backline while the experienced Gary Cahill, will keep his place on the left side of the back-3 for Chelsea in this game.
N Golo Kante is another name that most Chelsea team sheets will have this season for sure. The French international is an important player in Conte’s system and could start as the deepest of the midfielders against the Hornets.
Cesc Fabregas, who also came off the bench against Watford, could start alongside Kante in this game, to add some creativity to the midfield. Emerson Palmieri might have to wait for his debut with Marcos Alonso in fine form. He should keep his place on the left flank as Victor Moses will take over Davide Zappacosta as a wing back on the right flank.
In the absence of Morata, former Arsenal man Olivier Giroud is expected to lead the line for Chelsea. He should be accompanied by Eden Hazard on the left flank and Willian on the right, adding pace and trickery to the attack.
Here is how they might line up:
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