Chelsea travel to Vicarage Road as they look to build on their 2-1 win against West Ham United. The Blues won the game courtesy of a late Diego Costa goal and face a Watford team next who are coming into the match on the back of a resilient and dogged display against Southampton. Walter Mazzarri was impressed with the fight shown by his troops and will be working harder than ever on the training pitch to inculcate the 3-5-2 formation in the team. Meanwhile, Conte had to tweak his tactics late on to enable Chelsea to record a last-gasp victory. Watford will be aware of the task at hand as they face the mighty Blues who are tipped for domestic success this term, with no European distractions to deal with.
Let’s check out the three key battles to look forward to when the two sides clash on Saturday.
ANTONIO CONTE VS WALTER MAZZARRI
The duo share history from their Serie A days and move on to England to renew their rivalry. The pair were caught in a storm of misunderstanding after a veiled appreciation by Mazzarri regarding the use of a similar formation by Conte was supposedly misunderstood by the latter and the war of words began. The rivalry continued and Conte had the clear upper hand over his senior Mazzarri. It will be interesting to see the chemistry between the two as they come face to face after a gap of 2 years.
TROY DEENEY/ODION IGHALO VS JOHN TERRY/GARY CAHILL
Chelsea have been visibly nervy at the back and it is widely expected Antonio Conte will add to his backline before the end of the transfer window. Terry and Cahill will take time after the off season to settle down and Mazzarri will look towards the ever-present Troy Deeney to hit them in their supposed weak spot.
The 28-year old has built a burgeoning reputation of being a consistent performer and has proved himself at the highest level. He has been involved in 6 of Watford’s last 7 goals and along with Odion Ighalo will be the torch bearers of their unfancied attacking ambitions on Saturday
HEURELHO GOMES VS CHELSEA ATTACK
Watford will know that they will most likely be camped in their own half for the majority of the match and their impressive shot-stopper has to be in top form in order to keep out the daunting Chelsea attack. The keeper has to be on his toes throughout and will expect a barrage of shots on his goal from the likes of Hazard, Costa, Willian and Oscar. The physical presence during Chelsea corners will also be a threat. Gomes who made the most number of saves (127) and denied 3 penalties last season will be the main man in defence.