Chelsea are without a win in their last three games in all competitions, and so the last thing that Antonio Conte would want is an injury-related headache.
Unfortunately for the Italian tactician, that’s exactly what he’s got ahead of Watford’s visit to Stamford Bridge this weekend.
After losing consecutive games to Manchester City and Crystal Palace, the Blues stopped the rot with a 3-3 draw against Roma in the Champions League this week, but ultimately they’ll need to get back on track domestically as soon as possible.
Chelsea are already nine points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City, and so any further slip-ups in the coming weeks could be disastrous for their hopes of successfully defending their title.
Conversely, Watford have been in great form so far this season and sit above Chelsea in the standings, and so they’ll undoubtedly prove to be a tough assignment after seeing off Arsenal last weekend.
To make matters worse, Conte has conceded that Cesc Fabregas could be his only fit senior central midfielder, with the likes of N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater both injured while Tiemoue Bakayoko picked up a problem in the Roma draw, as per the Daily Mail.
That could open up an opportunity for one of the younger players in the squad to step in and deliver, but ultimately it’s a far from ideal situation for Conte and Chelsea, especially given their current form as the pressure continues to build on them.
Cesc Fabregas may be Conte's only fit central midfielder: "[He] could be, yes." #CFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) October 20, 2017