Watford vs Chelsea preview: Maurizio Sarri calls for a reaction
Watch live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7.15pm on Boxing Day
Last Updated: 26/12/18 6:26pm
Chelsea will be looking to bounce back quickly when they travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7.15pm on Boxing Day.
Jamie Vardy scored the winner as Chelsea suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against Leicester at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and head coach Maurizio Sarri wants a reaction from his side when they face Watford.
"It's important to play again in four days, maybe positive, maybe negative, it depends on our reaction after the match," he said.
"In the match, we had a bad reaction, now it depends on the reaction in the next three days. I think it's important to play immediately."
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Meanwhile, Watford are up to seventh in the Premier League and threatening the European places following their 2-0 victory at West Ham on Saturday.
A return of 27 points from 18 matches will have pleased the Watford hierarchy and a top-10 finish looks well within their grasp with a continuation of their current form.
Watford have an unchanged squad.
Will Hughes (hip), Andre Gray (leg), Sebastian Prodl (knee) and Adalberto Penaranda (foot) remain sidelined for the Hornets.
Boss Javi Gracia must decide whether to rotate his squad or stick with the side which saw off the Hammers.
Sarri could recall Olivier Giroud to his line-up which would free up Eden Hazard to drop back in an attacking midfield role. Alvaro Morata is likely to feature at some stage after recovering from a knee injury.
Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could both given starting roles while Andreas Christensen will remain on the sidelines with a hamstring problem.
- Watford won their most recent meeting with Chelsea (4-1 in February), ending a run of 13 games without a win against them in all competitions (D3 L10).
- The previous five Premier League games between Watford and Chelsea at Vicarage Road have seen both sides win two games apiece (one draw).
- Watford are looking to record back-to-back competitive wins against Chelsea for the first time since April 1987.
- The last four games between Watford and Chelsea in the Premier League have seen 21 goals scored (Watford 10 goals, Chelsea 11 goals), at an average of 5.3 per game.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League games played on Boxing Day (W8 D5), since a 2-4 loss at Charlton in 2003/04.
The defeat to Leicester was a shocking result for Chelsea. I was at the game when they drew with Everton and before that match, they were title contenders. Now they are fighting for the top four. That loss has also now opened the door to Man Utd, believe it or not.
Watford will be a hard game, they are physical and decent and they had an unbelievable result the other day winning at West Ham, it was a great win.
But you just do not know what you are going to get with Watford - one minute they are brave and fit, the next they are getting beat 4-0 at home by Bournemouth. But I am just going to go with Chelsea here…
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (15/2 with Sky Bet)