Chelsea Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Watford

The Blues are desperate to finish in the top four to secure Champions League football for next season but their form has stuttered once again

Chelsea are without a win in their last three games but remain in a strong position for a top-four finish and qualification for next season’s Champions League.

Manchester United and Arsenal are playing catch up behind Maurizio Sarri’s fourth-placed side, but the Blues need to make sure they get the job done as they first face Watford at home before an away trip to Leicester City.

Watford, meanwhile, have the FA Cup final date with Manchester City to look forward to on May 18 although will still be hoping for a strong finish to their league campaign, with the game against Chelsea followed by another London derby against West Ham.

Antonio Rudiger came off with a knee injury against Manchester United which is likely to see him miss the rest of the season, with Andreas Christensen again expected to take his place in the XI.

Willian was also substituted during the United game after taking a heavy knock to the ankle but he did return for the 1-1 draw with Frankfurt and so will be in contention once again.

Callum Hudson-Odoi, meanwhile, has already been ruled out until next season after undergoing surgery having ruptured his Achilles tendon.

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Neither Chelsea nor Watford have any suspensions to contend with ahead of Sunday’s match.

Eden Hazard was rested for the trip to Germany and he will start against Watford on Sunday.

Gonzalo Higuain is also likely to return in attack after Olivier Giroud started on Thursday against Frankfurt.

Emerson Palmieri continues to battle Marcos Alonso for the left-back spot, while Pedro and Willian will contest the wing spot on the opposite flank to Hazard.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is increasingly being seen as the first-choice option to start alongside N’Golo Kante and Jorginho in midfield, but he played 81 minutes on Thursday and may be rested.

Sebastian Prodl is out with a long-term knee injury, Domingos Quina is also not expected to make the trip to west London as he struggles with a shoulder problem.

Craig Cathcart limped off during the defeat to Wolves last weekend, but his condition is being assessed by Javi Gracia’s side.

The match at Stamford Bridge kicks off at 2.00pm BST ( 9:00am ET) on Sunday and it won’t be shown on TV in the UK. In the US, the game is available on NBC Sports.

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