Thursday, February 2, 2023

Watford vs Chelsea Preview: Mazzarri And Conte To Continue Their Rivalry In The Premier League

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

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 on hand as they face the mighty Blues who are tipped for domestic success this term, with no European distractions to deal with.

TEAM NEWS

WATFORD

Walter Mazzarri will be denied the services of Ben Watson after the player received a straight red in the last match. Abdi, Berghuis, Dja Djédjé, Oularé, Suárez are all long term absentees while Issac Success is unlikely to feature due to a leg injury.

CHELSEA

Antonio Conte mostly has a full squad to choose from with the exception of Kurt Zouma and John Obi Mikel who are both unavailable. The manager has a smattering of options to choose from in his attacking areas but in defence he has limited options with reports of new recruits growing louder.

PREDICTED LINE-UPS

WATFORD (3-5-2)

Gomes- Cathcart, Prodl, Britos- Amrabat, Guedioura, Behrami, Capoue, Holebas- Ighalo, Deeney

CHELSEA (4-1-4-1)

Courtois- Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta- Kante- Willian, Oscar, Matic, Hazard- Costa

costa getty

KEY MEN

WATFORD

TROY DEENEY- Troy Deeney has been involved in 6 of Watford’s last 7 Premier League goals having scored 4 and assisted 2. His partnership with Ighalo up top has been an important reason for their impressive showing last season. The 28-year old will be tasked with attacking the nervy Chelsea defensive pairing of Terry and Cahill who have not settled completely this season. Deeney’s ability to come up with an end product will be key as chances are likely to be few and far inbetween for the Hornets in the match.

CHELSEA

DIEGO COSTA- The controversial player won the match for Chelsea in the final minute of regulation time and looked sharper and hungrier than last season. Conte seems to have given him more freedom to take on his man and as the season advances the Spanish International will be expected to settle down and be a key part of their campaign. Lucky to be on the pitch after a horror tackle on Adrian, he will look to be a tad more careful this time as a return to the goal scoring form of Chelsea’s title winning season will give the team a huge boost.

LIKELY OUTCOME

Antonio Conte and Walter Mazzarri have met seven times in Serie A, with Mazzarri only coming out on top once. That was in their first match (Atalanta 0-2 Napoli) in January 2010. Conte won three and drew three of the following six, all for Juventus. The bosses go a long way back and though the senior Mazzarri would love to draw first blood in the Premier League, he faces an uphill task. Chelsea are superior in every department and Watford have to be on top of their game and be clinical if they are to salvage something from this game.

T40 PREDICTION: 2-0 CHELSEA WIN

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