After a winning start to the season, Chelsea will now travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford. The Blues won their first match of the season against West Ham United on Monday, with Costa getting the all important winner. On the other hand, Watford recently travelled to the St. Mary’s stadium and played a 1-1 draw. Etienne Capoue opened the scoring for the Hornets, but Southampton’s new signing Nathan Redmond soon leveled the scoring with a debut goal. The confidence will be high in the Blues camp, but Conte must be careful, there were some gaps in the team, which he will need to address as he gets into the thick of the action. Here is the predicted starting XI that Conte might opt for.
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois
The Belgian international was a mere spectator for the majority of the game against West Ham. He will be disappointed not to have kept a clean sheet, but there is not much he could have done about the goal. After struggling a bit last season, it will be crucial that Courtois gets some consistency this season.
Defenders: Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, John Terry and Azpilicueta
Ivanovic was one of the major disappointments from last season, however, the 32-year-old has started off with a bit more energy this season and with Conte in charge, the Serb is only going to get better. He will come in at right back with Spanish International, Azpilicueta on the left. Azpilicueta was the most consistent Chelsea defender last season. His versatility on either of the wings is crucial when changing things around. In the centre, it will be the English pairing of Cahill and Terry. Both of them were excellent against West Ham, keeping the likes of Caroll quiet and then later on Payet. Cahill, in particular, needs to have a good season after the horror he endured with the England squad at the recently concluded European Championship.
Midfielders: N’Golo Kante, Fabregas, Willian, Hazard and Oscar
We might see one or two changes in the midfield for this game, Kante will continue in central midfield. The Frenchman made an excellent start to his Chelsea career in his debut match. He will, however, have a new partner in Cesc Fabregas. Matic did okay in the last match but he hardly created anything in the final third, which is the reason why Conte might opt for the Spaniard. Willian will be on the right wing. The Chelsea player of the season last time was again at his energetic best against the Hammers. On the left wing, it will be the goalscorer Eden Hazard, who returned to form late last season was the best news Chelsea fans received all of last year. In the centre, Oscar will continue in that number 10 role.
Striker: Diego Costa
The Spaniard scored the winner in the last game with a beautiful finish. He has been linked with a move back to Spain, but with Lukaku deal looking unlikely right now, it is fair to say that Costa will remain a Blue this season.