Chelsea will play Watford at home on Saturday, July 4. The match will kick-off at 8 pm local time.
Match Preview Insights
- Chelsea is closing in on the third place and automatic qualification for Champions League football next season.
- Watford is deep in the relegation mire. With Norwich increasingly looking likely to drop straight back into the Championship, and Brighton starting to edge away. It increasingly looks like the other two relegation teams will be any two from Watford, West Ham, Aston Villa, and Bournemouth.
- Chelsea won the reverse fixture at the Vicarage Road in November. Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic gave them the lead before Gerard Deulofeu pulled one back from the penalty spot.
- Watford have not won at Stamford Bridge since their record 5 – 1 victory there in 1986, when Graham Taylor was in charge of the Hertfordshire side. Brian Talbot and David Bardsley both scored twice for the visitors on that occasion.
Arguably Chelsea has been the strongest side of all since the lockdown, having beaten Aston Villa away and then Manchester City at home in the Premier League, and edged out Leicester to reach the FA Cup semi-final.
They now look like they will overtake the Foxes for third place in the Premier League, and they have already made ambitious statements in the transfer market with the signings of Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, and Timo Werner from RB Leipzig.
Lampard also showed he was not afraid to take tough decisions by adopting a page from the playbook of his former mentor and manager Jose Mourinho in making three half-time substitutes at Leicester when he decided his team was not working hard enough.
He is unlikely to allow them to let up against Watford.
When Nigel Pearson took charge of the team, they were adrift at the bottom, but the former Leicester City boss appeared to have turned things around, and they looked likely to survive for another season in the Premier League.
That though was before the lockdown. They scrambled a late draw against Leicester, but then lost away to Burnley, and suffered a damaging home defeat to Southampton.
They will not be expecting to take anything from this match, but the two of their next games are against fellow relegation candidates Norwich and West Ham, sandwiched with a home game with Newcastle.
Given that they finish their campaign with a home match against Manchester City, and a trip to the Emirates to play Arsenal, it is how many points they can garner from those three games which may determine if they stay up or not.
Chelsea will start overwhelming favorites for this match, which, depending on other results, could see Watford back in the bottom three again.
For Hornets’ fans, defeat will matter less than the manner of it. If they show fight and determination then that will stand them in good stead for the fight ahead. However, a heavy beating could be a blow to morale just as they enter the most critical part of their season.
Chelsea is 4/9 to win this match, with Watford 13/2 against. The draw is 7/2. The most favored result is Chelsea 2 – 0 with a probability of 13.23%.