Chelsea host Watford on the Boxing Day Premier League clash as Guss Hiddink takes the dugout for the first time on his return to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea grabbed a well-deserved 3-1 win over Sunderland in their previous match, making a positive start to the life without Mourinho. The man who replaced his has a massive task at hand as the Blues continue the life in the bottom half of the table. Just 3 points separate them from the relegation zone at the start of this match a win must be the priority of Hiddink and his boys.
Watford under Quique Sánchez Flores are enjoying a terrific season after finding themselves 7th in the league table, just 4 points separate them from the top four sides. Moreover, they are having an emphatic run and the 3-0 thrashing of Liverpool is just a sign what they are capable in big games.
Chelsea vs Watford : Team Form Comparison
Chelsea have just 2 wins to show in the last 5 Premier League matches, while 2 matches were lost. Last weekend was the first time in five outings that Chelsea found the back of the net more than once.
Watford have won all of their last 4 Premier League matches and in the last 3 matches they have kept a clean sheet after taking the lead early in the first half.
Chelsea vs Watford : Head to Head
Chelsea have won all of their last 6 competitive matches against Watford. While playing at home Chelsea have scored at least 3 goals in the 4 matches, while keeping a clean sheet.
Chelsea : Team News
Eden Hazard could be ruled out for this match, as has not returned to full training since injuring his hip against Leicester a fortnight ago. It would be a toss out between Cahill, Terry and Zouma to determine who must start at the center of the defense. We do not expect Hiddink to make any drastic changes to the eleven started against Sunderland in the weekend.
Watford : Team News
Quique Sánchez Flores must be reluctant to make any changes to the squad that got him a priceless win Sunday. Behrami is one player who is pushing for a start after making his first Watford appearance in two months when he came as a second half substitute against Liverpool.
Chelsea : Predicted Line-up
Watford : Predicted Line-up
Chelsea vs Watford : Prediction
Chelsea put an end to their bad run of results in the league with the win over an incredibly poor Sunderland last time out. Despite the result, the showing reveals that much improvement is needed before the team is ready to stamp their authority in high profile matches. The return of Guus Hiddink brings along positive vibes in the dressing room after commanding a strong record of 11 wins in 13 league matches he has been in charge of the Blues last time out. But do not expect a quick turnaround. He is coming on the back of poor spells with Turkey and Netherlands since he left Stamford Bridge six years ago.
Watford, on the other hand are proving to be a tough nut to crack. If you are familiar with the team Flores has managed in the past, this has been the same case. His teams adopt high pressing tactics whose defense are incredibly hard to break down. The Hornets are on a four match unbeaten run in the league and on Boxing Day, they will be keen to take the advantage of an unsettled Chelsea squad who are low on confidence.
A draw is in the cards, expect Chelsea to come out with a cautious approach against a Watford team who are upsetting the odds in recent weeks. My Prediction for the week is 1-1.