Chelsea will host Watford on Sunday in what will be their final Premier League home game of the season.
The Blues are also in the Europa League, and they faced Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-final first leg on Thursday. Chelsea had a lot of chances to win it, but the game finished 1-1. Pedro cancelled out Luka Jovic’s opener for Frankfurt. The return leg will be played at Stamford Bridge next Thursday. Pedro’s away goal puts Maurizio Sarri’s side in a strong position to progress to the final. It will be their first European final since they defeated Benfica in the 2013 Europa League final.
Their Premier League ambitions are in the balance as well. Currently, Chelsea are in fourth, but that position is by no means secure. Arsenal and Manchester United are behind them, but both of them are within three points. The race for finishing in the top four is a tight one, and Sarri can’t afford to take it lightly. He rested Eden Hazard against Frankfurt, and the Belgian looks primed to start against the Hornets.
Hazard has been heavily linked with a move away from Chelsea this summer. Real Madrid is a likely destination, and Zinedine Zidane has an interest in the winger. If that move materializes, Sunday could see Hazard’s final league home game for Chelsea. Sarri needs his star man to deliver, as he looks to seal Champions League qualification in his first season at Stamford Bridge. Two wins in the two games left would seal that for the Italian.
Watford’s Premier League ambitions seem to be over, but their real goal is after the season ends. They will face Manchester City in the FA Cup final, and it is an excellent opportunity for Javi Gracia to gain some silverware. Winning the FA Cup will provide Watford with a route into next season’s Europa League. Finishing in seventh place could also provide that, but the Hornets are away from that right now.
They are currently in 10th place, four points behind Wolves who are in 7th place. Despite that, a finish on the top half looks likely for Watford. Gracia has impressed in his first full season at Vicarage Road. The Hornets have played some great football, and there is still some hope of a trophy. The likes of Gerard Deulofeu and Abdoulaye Doucoure have enjoyed stunning seasons, as has the Watford team in general.
Chelsea won 2-1 in the reverse fixture, as Hazard netted a brace that day. He will play, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a doubt for the game. The midfielder shined on Thursday but is suffering from a recurring back problem. Etienne Capoue is recovering from an injury for Watford, and his start is far from guaranteed.
Chelsea vs Watford Prediction
The home side is the favourite for this one, and they should take the three points. The total goals should be more than 2.5 as Watford will not be content with sitting back. They will give it their all, but Chelsea should take a big step towards the fourth place with a win.
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