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Thomas Tuchel is hoping Chelsea can finish a challenging season on a high note when they host Watford at Stamford Bridge, as off-pitch uncertainly continues to surround the club.
Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Leicester City on Thursday as they all but secured a third-placed Premier League finish, though they have lost two domestic cup finals and are still waiting on a resolution to the takeover saga surrounding the club at the end of an up-and-down campaign.
Although Tuchel admits this season has presented him with unique challenges, he remains adamant it has been "a lot of fun" as he looks to preserve Chelsea's seven-match Premier League unbeaten run against the Hornets.
"I don't judge seasons like this because in the moment, while you're doing it as a manager, it always feels challenging and demanding," he said. "In the moment, you have to adapt to the situation and try to find a solution. It's always challenging. That can be from results, from the atmosphere in the dressing room, from crazy things like the sanctions, which nobody could have predicted.
"So, it has been challenging, it has been demanding, but it has also been a lot of fun, and this is a pure pleasure to be in the middle of it and to still be a part of it."
Opposite number Roy Hodgson, meanwhile, is planning to retire after overseeing Watford's meek relegation, but says his players have not let him down with their efforts during a tough season.
"Every time you leave a job there's an element of emotion because you get attached to the people you work with," Hodgson said. "The players, I must say, they've not let me down in the training sessions and what they've tried to do in the games."
Chelsea – Mason Mount
Mount is Chelsea's leading Premier League goalscorer with 11 goals this term, and scored the opening goal in the Blues' 2-1 win over the Hornets earlier this season. After his decisive FA Cup final penalty miss, he will be determined to end the season with a positive performance.
Watford – Emmanuel Dennis
Dennis also scored in Chelsea's previous win over Watford, and has scored 10 goals in the Premier League this season, five of them to open the scoring. The Nigerian will have to be at his lethal best if Watford are to get anything at Stamford Bridge.
- Chelsea have never lost in seven Premier League home games against Watford (W6 D1), scoring at least twice in all seven meetings.
- Chelsea lost 2-1 against Aston Villa on the last day of the Premier League last season – they've not lost their final league game in consecutive campaigns since 1991-92 and 1992-93. The Blues are unbeaten in 11 when finishing their league season at home (W8 D3), since a 3-1 loss to Aston Villa in 2001-02.
- Watford's only victory on the final day of a Premier League season came in their first campaign in the competition in 1999-00 (D2 L4). Of all current Premier League sides, none have a lower win rate on the final day than the Hornets (14 per cent).
- Chelsea hold the record for the biggest victory on the final day in Premier League history, beating Wigan Athletic 8-0 to seal the title in 2009-10. Meanwhile, only Arsenal (64) have scored more goals in their final Premier League games than the Blues (57).
- Watford are yet to score a Premier League goal from outside the box this season. There have been just three occasions of a team going through an entire campaign without scoring from distance, with Watford already responsible for one of those (2019-20 – also Manchester City and Middlesbrough in 1995-96).
Updated May 20, 2022