Under the lights with the Premier League champions in the opposing dugout is as grand a Vicarage Road introduction as Javi Gracia could have asked for.

The new Watford head coach’s thoughts will likely lie be occupied by more than his home debut, however, and the small matter of Premier League survival is still at the top of Watford’s agenda.

A goalless draw with Stoke City on Wednesday provided a start, but the Hornets’ relegation worries are still very much real ahead of Chelsea’s visit.

Results over the weekend were kind to Gracia’s men and they remain three points above the drop zone having played a game fewer than their rivals near the foot of the table.

A run of one win in 12 Premier League outings makes for grim viewing and Watford are still awaiting the first goal of Gracia’s reign, having lost the Spaniard’s opener against Southampton 1-0 in the FA Cup.

They will, as has been the case for much of the season, have to contend with a number of injury problems for the match.

Tom Cleverley is a doubt after picking up a hamstring injury at the Bet365 Stadium and could well join Nathaniel Chalobah, Will Hughes, Younes Kaboul, Miguel Britos, Heurelho Gomes, Craig Cathcart and Kiko Femenia in being unavailable.

New signing Didier Ndong is certain to miss out as he serves the last game of a three-match ban picked up while still on Sunderland’s books.

Tonight’s opposition are not without problems of their own and have dropped seven points in their last five league outings.

A 3-0 loss to AFC Bournemouth in their last outing should provide Watford with greater confidence of overcoming the Blues.

Antonio Conte’s side look a shadow of the one which claimed the title last season and the Italian has been public in his frustrations over form and transfer activity in recent weeks.

He has called on the Chelsea board to publically back him and dispel speculation surrounding his future, which has led to reports he will be sacked should Chelsea fail to beat Watford.

Similarly to Watford, Chelsea have their own injury concerns coming into the game with Alvaro Morata ruled out with a back problem.

January arrival Olivier Giroud is available, but the Frenchman is still recovering from a muscle injury and is not fit enough to play a full 90 minutes.

Ross Barkley, who has endured a stalling start to his Chelsea career, is also set to miss out due to a hamstring injury.

Chelsea are, nonetheless, favourites for the game and are unbeaten in their last 13 meetings with the Hornets – a run which stretches back to September 1999.

Last season’s meeting between the two sides at Vicarage Road saw Michy Batshuayi and Diego Costa score in the last 10 minutes to seal a 2-1 comeback win for Chelsea.