With the help of club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton, we look back on some past encounters with today's opponents...
We Have History
Chelsea are unbeaten in 11 matches as hosts of Watford in all competitions (seven wins, four draws) since 1986. In the five Premier League games at the Bridge there have been 24 goals scored (Chelsea 16, Watford 8) at an average of 5.25 per game. The Blues have netted four or more in five Hornets visits in all competitions since 2004.
The most emphatic of those in the league was a 4-0 win in November 2006 when Didier Drogba managed a hat-trick against Aidy Boothroyd’s men – his second of the season, but first ever in the Premier League. For good measure, the Ivorian set up Andriy Shevchenko for the fourth (the match is pictured top).
The other four-goal top-flight victories were tighter. In May 2017 the two sides shared seven goals, the newly-crowned champions leading 3-1 thanks to John Terry (with the Blues’ 100th goal of the season), Cesar Azpilicueta and Michy Batshuayi, before Daryl Janmaat and Stefano Okaka brought the Hornets level.
Cesc Fabregas’s late winner was the 50th in the league at the Bridge for Antonio Conte’s team, the first time the Blues had reached that mark since the 68 in 2009/10.
Last season’s lunchtime kick-off was so open it could have been a much higher scoreline than 4-2. Again the Londoners opened the scoring (through Pedro’s swerving drive), but Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra either side of the interval put the Hertfordshire side ahead.
Batshuayi’s second-half introduction paid dividends. The Belgian equalised 10 minutes after coming on then, after Azpilicueta’s late header, confirmed victory with a battling stoppage-time finish.
Chelsea won this season’s reverse fixture 2-1 on Boxing Day with Eden Hazard scoring twice, one a penalty.
After Glenn Hoddle accepted the England job, Chelsea fans’ constant chants during the Blackburn game on 5 May 1995 made it clear bookies’ favourite George Graham was a no-no and ensured Ruud Gullit would take over as player-manager.
The Blues’ last home loss to the Hornets was on the final day of the 1985/86 season, Gordon Durie’s debut. A young Les Fridge also made his only appearance in goal for the first team in front of a crowd of 12,017.
LAST SEASON’S CORRESPONDING MATCH
Biggest league win at Stamford Bridge for each team
11/11/2006 Chelsea 4-0 Watford
05/05/1986 Chelsea 1-5 Watford