It will be party time at the Bridge on Monday night when Chelsea are at home in the Monday Night Football for a second week in succession. This time they host Watford and three days after securing the Premier League title.
Watford look to be the perfect guests for the party in that they have nothing to play for and their results have tailed off significantly recently so all will be expecting a home win to get the celebrations started.
It has been a phenomenal season for Chelsea. While it might have started slowly, once Antonio Conte stamped his mark on his squad it didn’t take them long to power away and now they are worthy champions with two matches to play. Although it will be party time in the stands you get the feeling Conte isn’t one for letting up.
All Chelsea really have left to play for is the FA Cup in two weeks time so it will be interesting to see if they maintain their intensity heading into that match. If Conte just change his side for the final two matches those coming in could have a chance to stake their claim for a starting spot at Wembley which might assist Chelsea maintaining focus.
I guess given the size of Watford in comparison to plenty of others in the Premier League they will consider this season a good one in that they have avoided relegation without ever facing too many scares as far as that was concerned. I’m sure that would have been their ultimate aim at the start of the season.
That said I’m also fairly sure they will be disappointed that once they had got to 40pts that their results have gone west. Not only has a run of four defeats on the trot dented confidence but it has cost them a fair bit of money too. Had they averaged a point a game in those matches they would be a win away from eighth position now.
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea boss Antonio Conte freshens up his side now the title is won. You would think Diego Costa and Eden Hazard in particular will be saved for the Cup final but that doesn’t mean they won’t play here first.
Watford welcome Tom Cleverley back into their ranks after he was ineligible for their last match. Christian Kabasele injured a hamstring in that match and is unavailable for this one.
Had there been something on the game then I might have indulged in this one and as it is I’m incredibly tempted to back Chelsea to win to nil but I’m going to resist that temptation for the sole reason that nobody could blame the Chelsea lads for not having their minds completely on the job.
It might be worth throwing a few quid at a fringe player to find the net anytime as they bid to get a start at Wembley so someone like Willian could be value at 2/1 if he starts but as far as a genuine pre-game bet is concerned I’m a non-runner in this one.