Watford are hosting Chelsea for their Premier League fixture at Vicarage Road on Monday. The Hornets are coming off a 0-0 draw to a relegation-threatened Stoke City earlier in the week and have dropped to the 11th spot of the Premier League table.
With Marco Silva off the helm and Javi Gracia on the reins, this tie makes it an interesting fixture especially when both sides are struggling in the Premier League to put up wins in a row.
The ‘Orns started off the season in scintillating form and at some point even matched strides with Leicester and Burnley for the 7th spot, but now it looks like they have run out of steam and a series of injuries to key players have really stunted their progress.
Chelsea obviously are the favourites to win this tie but in the current climate, nothing can be said for sure. The Blues put up a shambolic display against Bournemouth last week to lose 3 goals to nil at home. Eddie Howe’s men hit the visitors on the counter and outplayed them throughout the 90 minutes. The match was a chance to catch up with Manchester United in the 2nd spot who also dropped points against Tottenham Hotspur, but instead, Antonio Conte’s men were left fighting for points with Liverpool. He is not ready to concede another loss and will bring a motivated Chelsea side to Vicarage Road.
The former Malaga manager is still settling into the side and might not be willing to make any big changes.
Gracia is expected to field his best side in the 4-3-3 formation.
Heurelho Gomes is the first choice keeper for the side but is still nursing an injury on the sidelines. Orestis Karnezis has replaced him in between the sticks and is expected to get the nod in this fixture.
Adrian Mariappa should find himself in the right-back position with Jose Holebas on the other end.
Molla Wague has been impressive so far this season but might get replaced by Sebastian Prödl. The Austrian is expected to start alongside Christian Kabasele in the centre-back positions.
Abdoulaye Doucouré is the expected to feature in the holding midfield role alongside Etienne Capoue. Tom Cleverley might feature in the attacking midfield position ahead of the two.
Troy Deeney is expected to get a run of games under the new manager and might start in the number nine position.
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