Watford v Chelsea: match predictions

Watford have been having a poor run, but have suddenly come out of it in the last couple of results…

Date Game Res Score Competition
03 Nov 2018 Newcastle United v Watford L 1-0 Premier League
10 Nov 2018 Southampton v Watford D 1-1 Premier League
24 Nov 2018 Watford v Liverpool L 0-3 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Leicester City v Watford L 2-0 Premier League
04 Dec 2018 Watford v Manchester City L 1-2 Premier League
10 Dec 2018 Everton v Watford D 2-2 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Watford v Cardiff City W 3-2 Premier League
22 Dec 2018 West Ham United v Watford W 0-2 Premier League

Now of course neither Cardiff nor West Ham are top six teams, but even so it required a pick up in form by Watford to get those two victories, scoring five goals.   Indeed add in the Everton game and we have seven goals scored by Watford in the last three Premier League games.

And in fact when we look at Watford’s home form they are in the top half of the table

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 10 9 0 1 35 9 26 27
2 Arsenal 10 7 2 1 20 9 11 23
3 Liverpool 8 7 1 0 18 2 16 22
4 Chelsea 10 6 3 1 19 8 11 21
5 Everton 10 5 3 2 18 15 3 18
6 AFC Bournemouth 10 5 2 3 16 14 2 17
7 Tottenham Hotspur 7 5 0 2 12 6 6 15
8 Manchester United 8 4 3 1 14 11 3 15
9 Watford 9 5 0 4 14 15 -1 15

In fact Watford have the same number of home points as Tottenham and Manchester United, although to be fair they have played more games at home.  The only thing missing is the solid home defence.  15 conceded at home is problematic.

Chelsea away from home are interesting…

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 11 9 0 2 25 12 13 27
2 Liverpool 10 8 2 0 21 5 16 26
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Chelsea 8 5 1 2 16 7 9 16
5 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 20 15 5 14
6 Manchester United 10 4 2 4 20 19 1 14
7 Leicester City 10 4 2 4 12 13 -1 14
8 Watford 9 3 3 3 11 10 1 12

Five wins one draw and two defeats is pretty much par for a top six club away from home, and 16 goals against 9 shows they probably go into this game fairly confident of a win by 2-1.

Chelsea’s recent results however are also interesting…

Date Game Res Score Competition
05 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea L 2-1 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 Chelsea v Manchester City W 2-0 Premier League
13 Dec 2018 Videoton v Chelsea D 2-2 Europa League
16 Dec 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea W 1-2 Premier League
19 Dec 2018 Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth W 1-0 League Cup
22 Dec 2018 Chelsea v Leicester City L 0-1 Premier League

We don’t need to worry too much about the Europa League game but two defeats in four Premier League games, with the team losing away to Wolverhampton and at home to Leicester suggest there is something not completely right.

When we come to the full league table, Chelsea’s expectation of a top four place and thus a return to the Champions League looks very possible – but not guaranteed.   They are unlikely, as things stand, to be caught by Manchester United (it would need a bad run by Chelsea to allow Man U to catch up) but there must also be a concern that Arsenal could overtake them

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 18 15 3 0 39 7 32 48
2 Manchester City 18 14 2 2 50 13 37 44
3 Tottenham Hotspur 18 14 0 4 37 18 19 42
4 Chelsea 18 11 4 3 35 15 20 37
5 Arsenal 18 11 4 3 40 24 16 37
6 Manchester United 18 8 5 5 34 30 4 29
7 Watford 18 8 3 7 25 25 0 27

Chelsea’s victory over the 7th placed team is still likely, but it can’t be taken utterly for granted and there is an outside chance of a draw.  But a Watford victory would be a shock.

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