Watford v Chelsea

19 Aug

Antonio Conte and Walter Mazzarri

Antonio Conte (left) and Walter Mazzarri fell out while managers of Juventus and Napoli respectively


Watford are on the brink of signing Younes Kaboul and Roberto Pereyra but they will not be available to face Chelsea.

Brice Dja Djedje and Isaac Success remain sidelined, while Ben Watson is suspended after being sent off 12 minutes after coming on at Southampton.

Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns and could be unchanged from the side that beat West Ham on Monday.

Mikel John Obi remains on international duty with Nigeria at the Olympic Games.


Mark Scott: “When thoughts turned to the managerial duels this season that have a bit of added spice, this one might have slipped under the radar a little.

“Walter Mazzarri and Antonio Conte fell out during their time coaching Napoli and Juventus respectively because, so the story goes, Conte felt Mazzarri had suggested he’d ‘copied’ Napoli’s formation.

“The Watford boss insisted his comments had been misunderstood, but formations remain a hot topic for both managers.

“Watford seem to have adapted well to Mazzarri’s preferred 3-5-2 line-up, putting in a solid showing at Southampton.

“Conte’s focus on overloading out wide against West Ham allowed Eden Hazard to deliver a performance much more in keeping with his fine form of two seasons ago.”

Twitter: @Mark_Scott_


Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte on his relationship with Walter Mazzarri: “I saw (Mazzarri) in the managers’ meeting. I spoke with him about this new experience, this is a great challenge also for him.

“When we were in Italy and we fought for the title, Juventus against Napoli, yeah (there was a fall-out), but when you stay up and you are fighting for the title everyone fights for their club.

“But the relationship is very normal, I have great respect for him and his work. I think he’s a good manager.”


I am still waiting to see exactly what Hornets boss Walter Mazzarri’s philosophy will be in the Premier League, but I think Chelsea will have too much quality for them.

Prediction: 0-2

Lawro’s full predictions v comedians Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
Heurelho Gomes has made the most Premier League saves (127) since the start of last season<!–



  • Watford’s only win in the last 15 league and cup meetings came at home in the first Premier League fixture between the sides 17 years ago (W1, D5, L9).


  • The Hornets have only earned four wins and 17 points from 21 matches since Boxing Day.
  • Their only home win in the last seven attempts was by 3-2 against relegated Aston Villa in April when Troy Deeney scored two late goals.
  • Deeney has been involved in six of Watford’s last seven Premier League goals, scoring four and setting up two.


  • The Blues have earned an unrivalled 20 points from away matches in 2016, two more than next-best Leicester and Tottenham (W6, D2, L2).
  • Antonio Conte has lost just one of his last 31 league games as a club manager (W28, D2, L1).
  • Eden Hazard has scored five goals in his last six league appearances – having previously gone 29 league games without scoring.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.


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