Chelsea v Watford
Monday May 15
Live on Sky Sports 1
You might have heard already, but Chelsea won the league title on Friday night thanks to a late goal from the forgotten man, Michy Batshuayi, to win 1-0 at West Brom. That win sets up a potential league and cup double for manager Antonio Conte in his first season in English football. As Graeme Le Saux rightly says, it would be a stunning achievement if he pulls it off.
Chelsea's incredible season has been built on simple foundations - a fine defensive unit that has kept a league-high 16 clean sheets, and which benefits from the marauding runs of Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses on the wings; PFA Player of the Year N'Golo Kante's immense industry in the midfield; the unpredictable brilliance of Eden Hazard in attack combined with Diego Costa's muscularity and dogged determination upfront.
Conte will be able to pick his strongest XI for this match, but whether he will choose to we don't know. The Italian may be tempted to rest a few key men to ensure they make the Cup final or give some game time to bench players or up-and-coming youngsters. It's an unknown that makes betting on the game a little more unpredictable than we would like.
The Hornets come into the game on a four-match losing streak - a 1-0 defeat of Swansea at Vicarage Road in April their last taste of victory. That result as good as ensured their Premier League survival but it's been pretty ugly since with Watford failing to score since, a run that covers three away fixtures and one at home. The defence is still pretty much doing its job it would seem with two of those matches lost by a solitary goal and only a 3-0 defeat at Leicester really looking one-sided on paper. Nevertheless, manager Walter Mazzarri is feeling the pressure.
The Italian is without Miguel Britos and Younes Kaboul at the back, but apart from long-term injured can select his strongest XI.
Seventeen home games have yielded 15 wins and two defeats for the champions so it's no surprise to see them as short as 1.26 to win on Monday night.
And given Watford come into the match on that terrible run, it's equally unsurprising to see Mazzarri's men at14.00 to win. The draw is 7.00 to back.
The danger is that Chelsea's intensity will slip now they've been crowned champions and the 1.26 is of no interest to me, however likely it is. One thing's for sure, fatigue is going to be an issue given the boys in blue played on Friday and I suspect may well have drunk a little alcohol since winning the league title.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Just as the match odds points strongly to a Chelsea win, the goals markets are leaning heavily towards an entertaining night. In early trading, overs trades at a paltry1.50 with unders edging towards the 3.00 mark. Given the question mark over Chelsea's intensity, possibility of changes to the match-day lineup and potential fatigue in the ranks - and coupled with Watford's current scoreless run - then a back of unders looks a value play.
Chelsea Win to Nil
Bit of a no-brainer this one, provided you are convinced the home side are going to triumph. With Watford so poor in front of goal and Chelsea so strong at the back - even if they change one or two - then a home win is likely to come with a clean sheet attached. It's an eventuality that can be backed at 21/20 on the Betfair Sportsbook.
The exceedingly average Lee Mason takes charge for this one. The Portsmouth-born official is bang mid-table for yellows and reds per game. It seems unlikely we'll be in for a card heavy game with Chelsea in celebration mode and Watford having very little to play for.
Back under 2.5 goals @ 2.80 or better
Back Chelsea win to nil @ 21/20
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