Watford-Chelsea Preview

Chelsea's recent run of strong form inside and out of the Premier League has ended. Perhaps a visit from struggling Watford will help them get back on track.

The Blues aim to return to their winning ways when welcoming relegation-battling Watford to Stamford Bridge on Saturday night.

Chelsea (16-6-10) are currently among the top-four in the Premier League table, and were riding a five-game winning streak over all competitions before falling 3-2 at West Ham United on Wednesday. A Willian brace was unable to keep the Blues from dropping points as the Hammers snapped a 2-all scoreline through Andriy Yarmolenko in the 89th minute.

It was a rather stunning defeat for Chelsea, who had appeared to find their form and thought to have been in good shape to handle a West Ham side trying keep from falling into the drop zone.

"It's very disappointing," Willian, who has 11 goals over all competitions this season, told Chelsea's official website. "The plan was to win the game and we missed a chance to go third (in the table). At least we have a game on Saturday to win at home. It's not a time to complain. We have to win on Saturday."

Chelsea are fourth in the table, but have chasers close behind in the race for a Champions League spot.

"We have to play every game as a final, and fight to get into the Champions League places," Willian added. "We deserve to finish in the top four. Sometimes we have gone up and down, but I think we deserve to be there - and we have to keep that position."

Willian did not score, but teammate Tammy Abraham (13 Premier League goals in 2019-20) had a goal and assisted on a score by Christian Pulisic (seven goals) during a 2-1 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road on Nov. 2. Chelsea have won three straight league games against the Hornets, and are 5-1-0 at home all-time with Watford at home in the league.

The Hornets (6-10-16) currently sit 17th in the table, one point from the relegation zone. They're also amidst an 0-1-3 stretch in the league since that stunning 3-0 victory over champions Liverpool on Feb. 29.

In their most recent contest on Sunday, Watford fell 3-1 to Southampton, scoring only via an own goal. The club's recent rough form has brought about some collective, internal reflection regarding their play and overall status on the season.

"We've had chats - everyone was frustrated, so we've tried to park it as quickly as we can in regard to moving onto the next one," captain Troy Deeney told Watford's official website. "But, there's certainly been a lot of things said.

"It's important we are able to do that as it doesn't help anybody if people are not speaking up and saying what's on their minds. So, we had to get to a point where we understood everyone wants to win, no one's playing bad on purpose, but if you don't get to the required standards, you're going to get called out an that's ultimately what's happened."

Deeney currently leads the Hornets with six goals over all competitions. However, he has just one over the last eight Premier League games, and none in the four most recent contests.

Updated July 2, 2020

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