The Blues are coming off the back of a decent Europa League outing but are in need of maximum points to keep their top four hopes burning
After three draws on the bounce, Chelsea host Watford at Stamford Bridge in Premier League action as they seek to secure a top-four finish.
Maurizio Sarri’s men have had a big week, with trips to Manchester United and Eintracht Frankfurt both ending a 1-1 draws.
Occupying fourth spot in the Premier League standings, they appear well placed to reach the Champions League next season but still have much work to do.
Watford may sit 10th in the standings, but with an FA Cup final to earn places for, there is no room for rest at Vicarage Road.
|Game||Chelsea vs Watford|
|Date||Sunday, May 5|
|Time||2:00pm BST / 9:00am ET|
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live on TV via CNBC and it can be streamed live using NBC Sports’ online service or Telemundo Deportes En Vivo.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|CNBC||NBC Sports Live / Telemundo Deportes En Vivo|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast either on television or via a stream.
|UK TV channel||Online
|Goalkeepers||Kepa, Caballero, Bulka|
|Defenders||Alonso, Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Emerson|
|Midfielders||Jorginho, Kante, Hazard, Barkley, Pedro, Loftus-Cheek, Ampadu, Moses, Willian, Kovacic|
Chelsea starting XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Higuain, Hazard.
|Goalkeepers||Foster, Gomes, Dahlberg|
|Defenders||Mariappa, Kabasele, Cathcart, Britos, Wilmot, Prodl, Masina, Janmaat, Navarro|
|Midfielders||Capoue, Sema, Pereyra, Chalobah, Doucoure, Quina|
|Forwards||Deeney, Deulofeu, Success, Gray, Penaranda|
Watford starting XI: Foster; Femenia, Mariappa, Cathcart, Holebas; Hughes, Doucoure, Chalobah, Pereyra; Deeney, Deulofeu.
Chelsea are heavy 2/5 favourites to win this match with bet365 . Watford can be backed at 7/1, while the draw is priced at 17/4.
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Whether it is via the Premier League or by Europa League success, Chelsea’s expectations this season are that they return to the Champions League.
Maurizio Sarri has given them two chances to do just that with less than a month of the campaign to play. The first leg of the Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt ended in a 1-1 draw in Germany on Thursday, while the Blues lie fourth in the Premier League with just two matches remaining.
It is the domestic competition, however, that the former Napoli boss seems to have prioritised, having elected to leave star man Eden Hazard on the bench for the midweek clash against the Bundesliga side.
To that end, it is all the more important that they overcome Watford on Sunday and do not allow the Germans to oust them from Europe in next Thursday’s return leg.
Recent form suggests there are few guarantees with Chelsea at present. They have drawn all of their last three matches in all competitions and have won one of their last five. Only the wretched form of their fellow top-four hopefuls has prevented them from slipping down the standings.
Despite that record, Sarri is happy with the progress his side has made.
Speaking on Thursday, he said: “Three months ago, we were in trouble in a very difficult championship and it’s not easy to react, but we were able to react. Now, in the last 15 days of the season, we are fighting for the top four and the final in the Europa League, so we deserve a trophy.”
Watford are unlikely to prove easy meat for the Carabao Cup runners-up. The Vicarage Road side have installed themselves in the middle of the Premier League table, but the highlight of their season lies ahead on May 18, when they will face Manchester City in the FA Cup final.
Since defeating Wolves 3-2 to qualify for the showpiece, they have won only one of their last four matches, a 2-1 struggle against relegated Huddersfield.
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However, with FA Cup places on the line and only two matches left to prove themselves, this would seem an ideal opportunity to impress manager Javi Gracia.