Match Preview: Watford vs Chelsea.

03/02/2016 11:03

Many would have thought it would be inconceivable that Watford would be ahead of Chelsea at this stage of the season.

But that is exactly the case, as the Hornets host the Blues at Vicarage Road this evening in the Premier League, with the Golden Boys three places above Guus Hiddink's men.

A win tonight could see the Hornets move up to eighth position in the Premier League, whilst a draw would see Quique Sanchez Flores' men move up one position to ninth.

It was an eventful fixture between the two sides at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day, with the Hornets managing to hold on to gain a point, with the match ending 2-2. A point was the least Watford deserved on that day, given their good showing.

Diego Costa put the Blues in front before Troy Deeney equalised from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time. Odion Ighalo's defected effort, which would later go down as a Gary Cahill own goal, put the Hornets 2-1 up, before Costa grabbed his second ten minutes later.

Oscar missed a late penalty for the hosts as the Hornets hung on to secure a point at Stamford Bridge.

Guus Hiddink is the manager of the Blues, in what has been a turbulent season at Stamford Bridge.

After winning the Premier League title last season, the Blues defence of their crown has been something of a calamity, with the club rooted in the bottom half of the table for a large part of the season.

Due to the club's poor form, Jose Mourinho was sacked and Hiddink was placed in charge till the end of the season and results and performances have improved under the Dutchman since he took over the managerial reigns.

The key player for Chelsea tonight will be striker Diego Costa. The Spaniard caused the Hornets defence all kinds of problems during the last meeting between the two sides and has seemed somewhat rejuvenated under Hiddink's leadership.

The 27-year-old has netted six goals in his last seven games for Chelsea and the striker will cause defences all kinds of problems on his day. He will be a key player for the Blues this evening.

Tonight's game will be another tough game for the Golden Boys in the top flight.

With Chelsea rejuvenated and showing glimpses of the side that were so superior in the Premier League last season, the Hornets will certainly have to be on top of their game if they wish to come away from tonight's game with a point or three.

Team News

For Watford, Nathan Ake is ineligible to face his parent club. Joel Ekstrand and Tommie Hoban are both ruled out through injury. New signing Mario Suarez could make his Watford debut.

For Chelsea, Willian and new signing Alexandre Pato will be monitored and will undergo late fitness tests.

Predicted Team Line-ups

Watford - Gomes (GK), Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Holebas, Watson, Capoue, Behrami, Jurado, Deeney ©, Ighalo.

Chelsea - Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry ©, Baba, Matic, Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Costa.

Referee - Mike Dean.