Despite not playing in midweek, it still feels like a fairly short turnaround from the West Ham game to this one. From Monday night to Saturday afternoon shouldn't feel this quick, but with general optimism growing and transfer madness still going on, time is flying.
And it's only going to get busier, with an actual midweek match coming up in the League Cup, followed by a home match against Burnley. (And then it's the first international break, which, as always, is exquisitely timed for highest annoyance quotient.)
In any case, all attention for now turns to the northern suburbs as Chelsea take the short bus ride up to Watford. With Diego Costa as our co-pilot, there's nothing to fear, right?
The squad have boarded the bus to Watford, but who is the driver? https://t.co/HQ80hK5JLG— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 19, 2016
Date / Time: Saturday, August 20, 2016, 15:00 BST; 10am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Vicarage Road, Watford, England
Referee: Jon Moss — Mr. Moss is back for the 13th Chelsea match of his career, with the Blues winning 8 of the previous 12 (including last year's FA Cup tie at MK Dons). All three losses have been on the road, including last year's trip to Upton Park.
Forecast: Partly sunny but windy, with heavy showers late in the day
On TV: none (UK); CNBC (USA); Star Sports 4 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA); Chelsea TV (radio, int'l)
Watford team news: New Hornets boss Walter Mazzarri is a familiar figure to Antonio Conte, with plenty being made of their personal rivalry back in Italy despite both coaches' efforts to play it down. But while Conte has adopted his tactics to his current squad — just as he once adopted a variation of the 3-5-2 for his Juve squad — Mazzarri looks to be sticking with what he knows and loves, the counter-attacking machine that once captured Football Hipsters' imaginations in Naples and made big stars out of Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi, and Marek Hamšík.
Mazzarri's current squad is a far cry from the talents of the Partenopei who once challenged for the Scudetto and European glory, even with recent purchases Younes Kaboul (from Sunnderland) and record signing Roberto Pereyra (from Juventus), neither of whom arrived in time to be registered for this match. Also missing in action will be Ben Watson, who was sent off last weekend after coming on as a defensive substitute.
For more on Watford, be sure to check out our opposition preview. Big hitters Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo are still there unfortunately, as is former Spurs calamity Heurelho Gomes, who had one of his best games last year against Chelsea before finishing as the Premier League's leader in saves made.
Chelsea team news: Despite the prognostications of Twitter experts around the world (but especially in Holland), the Chelsea squad remains injury free for now, other than Kurt Zouma's still-healing ACL. Mikel John Obi meanwhile will be busy in Brazil, in the bronze medal match at the Olympics.
With a settled squad at Conte's disposal already, Chelsea will be looking to build on the good vibes of Diego Costa's late winner on Monday night. Reinforcements may yet arrive before the end of the month, but for now, the 4-1-4-1/4-3-3 featuring the vast majority of the players who lead the team to the 2014-15 title will have to do.
Previously: Both meetings with Watford last season were disappointing in their own regard, so let's just go with the last time we met Walter Mazzarri in a match, one of my favorite games ever at the Bridge.