Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Chelsea v Watford

The Liverpool legend is backing Chelsea to ease to a 2-0 win against Watford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: Screen grab

Mark Lawrenson is backing Chelsea to beat Watford in a comfortable 2-0 win despite the defending champions’ poor form in recent weeks.

The title holders lost 1-0 to Manchester City in their final game before the international break to leave Chelsea six points off the pace.

Antonio Conte’s men suffered a surprise 2-1 loss to the Premier League’s basement club Crystal Palace last weekend after Wilfried Zaha’s winner.

Chelsea squandered a 2-0 lead mid-week to draw 3-3 with Roma in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge to raise further questions about Conte’s team.

The west London side have won the title in two of the past three seasons to establish themselves as a dominant force in the Premier League again.

Chelsea will face a Watford side buoyed by a 2-1 win against Arsenal at Vicarage Road last weekend to hoist themselves into fourth spot.

Former Liverpool defender Lawrenson is backing Chelsea to ease to a 2-0 win against Watford at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

“Chelsea worried me a little bit in their defeat by Crystal Palace last week because they did not really turn up, but I don’t think they have suddenly become a bad side,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“It is more that, with the squad they have got, they must already know that their chances of defending their Premier League title are slim.

“Watford are having a good time of things at the moment, especially away from home, where they have won three and drawn one of their four games.

“Those victories came at Bournemouth, Southampton and Swansea; it is asking a lot for them to go to Stamford Bridge and do the same.

“Also, unlike in their game against Arsenal last week, Watford will face a team this week who will put their foot in, rather than rolling over and asking for their tummy to be tickled.”

Chelsea won the Premier League title with two games to spare last weekend to lift the top-flight crown in their first campaign under Conte.

The defending champions signed six players in the summer transfer window to bolster their squad ahead of a return to the Champions League.

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