LONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 20- Walter Mazzarri will be looking to get one over his old foe, Antonio Conte, when Watford welcome Chelsea to Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon.
Watford relinquished an early lead to Southampton last week, going on to record a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s. Their pre-season form had not been great, drawing two and losing one of three games ahead of the Southampton match.
Midfielder Adlene Guedioura expects a tough contest, but is hopeful that home ground advantage will help.
“It’s going to be tough with teams like this coming up but we are at home tomorrow and don’t need motivation for these kinds of games,” he was quoted as saying by the Standard website.
The Blues began their campaign with a 2-1 victory over West Ham at Stamford Bridge, a 90th-minute goal from Diego Costa was needed to ensure victory for manager Antonio Conte in what was his first official game since taking charge. Prior to that, the west London club had excelled in pre-season, winning four of five friendly games before the league kicked off.
Conte, who has a poor relationship with Watford boss Walter Mazzarri, showed great passion on the sidelines in last week’s win over the Hammers, while striker Diego Costa drew criticism for a couple of nasty incidents in the London derby.
But Conte says he is not looking to tone things down.
“We must pay attention because tomorrow (v Watford) is dangerous and we need to send the right message, for confidence,” he said.
“It’s important to face the game with the right intensity and focus. I am a passionate man. I was the same when I started in this new career and with the Italy national team coach at the Euros.”
In team news, Watford’s record signing Isaac Success missed the Southampton game, and faces a race to get fit for the Chelsea encounter. Another new signing, Brice Dja Djedje, is also unlikely to return to action, while Ben Watson is suspended after being sent off last week.
Mario Suarez, meanwhile, will not feature for the rest of the season after completing a loan move to Valencia.
Conte will only be without the services of Kurt Zouma, who continues to recover from a knee injury.