Watford vs Chelsea Match Preview: Another tough test for the Blues
Monday Night Football sees two out-of-form teams meet, with both in desperate need of three points. Watford host Chelsea at Vicarage Road, and our Analyst has previewed the game, using underlying expected goals (xG) data to generate the best bets.
It has been all change at Watford over the last few weeks, with a new manager coming in and new players joining the club, but results haven’t improved. Since Marco Silva was sacked, they have picked up one point from two games, failing to score on both occasions.
Javi Gracia is the man tasked with turning around a seemingly sinking ship, and he doesn’t have much room for manoeuvre as the Hornets are now just three points above the relegation zone. After such a fast start, which at one point had them dreaming of a European place, they have regressed to where Infogol expected them to be based on their performances so far this season.
One win in 12 matches – scoring 11 goals - is a worrying run of form, but they have actually generated 14.1 xG. They have the ability to cause Chelsea problems, as they did earlier in the season (CHE 2.0 – 2.1 WAT xG), and this appears to be a good time to play the Premier League Champions.
Like Watford, all is not right at Chelsea. There appears to be a constant power struggle between Antonio Conte and the Chelsea board, which seems to be impacting on performances on the pitch. They were humiliated by Bournemouth in front of their own fans last week, going down 3-0, and while the score line was harsh, the result was deserved (CHE 1.3 – 1.7 BOU xG).
Results over the weekend will have given them a huge boost; a win will move them above Liverpool into third and put four points between themselves and Tottenham. This is a huge incentive, but they will need to improve on recent performances (totals of 3.3 xGF and 3.9 xGA over last three games).
Alvaro Morata is still by far and away Chelsea’s biggest goal threat, however Olivier Giroud has been brought in, and while he has played only 433 minutes of Premier League football, his xG stats have been impressive. He will be a good replacement for Morata in this game, with the Spaniard currently out injured.
This may be a good time to play Chelsea, with all not right within the Blues camp. The champions may prove too strong in this match, but they won’t have it all their own way in what should be an entertaining game.
Both teams to score @ 19/20
Despite recent results, Watford have shown they can create chances, and both teams are expected to score as a result.