Chelsea vs Watford Match Preview.

24/12/2015 19:12

The Hornets' gruelling Christmas period doesn't get much easier, with Quique Sanchez Flores' men facing a trip to Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day, to face reigning Premier League Champions, Chelsea.

But who would have thought Watford would be entering this fixture ten points above the Blues back in August?

Yet that is exactly the case, following Chelsea's dismal start to the season and Watford will go into this fixture brimming with confidence, having swept Liverpool easily to one side at Vicarage Road last weekend, in what was a fantastic performance from the Golden Boys.

That result was Watford's fourth win in a row and moved the Golden Boys to within one point of the Champions League places. What a fantastic Christmas present eh?

But whilst it has been a great start to the season for Watford, less can be said of Chelsea's start to the campaign.

After claiming just 15 points from their first 16 games, the Blues decided to dispense with manager Jose Mourinho, a move which angered the majority of Chelsea fans.

Their anger could be heard last week during the 3-1 win over Sunderland, with the Blues fans booing Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa and constantly chanting Jose Mourinho's name during the 90 minutes.

The last meeting between these two sides came back in January in the third round of the FA Cup. Despite a valiant display from the Golden Boys, Chelsea ran out 3-0 winners, thanks to goals from Willian, Loic Remy and Kurt Zouma.

But the upcoming Premier League fixture between the two sides could be far more even, given both sides start to the season and Watford have showcased they can cause any side problems on their day.

Guus Hiddink has been placed in charge at Stamford Bridge on an interim basis until the end of the season and the Dutchman is no stranger to Chelsea fans, having spent a spell in charge of the London side during the 2008/09 season.

The Dutchman only lost one of his 32 games in charge during his previous spell and lead the club to success in the FA Cup and Chelsea fans will be hoping that he will have a similar effect this time around at Stamford Bridge.

The key player for the Blues on Boxing Day will undoubtedly be Brazilian international, Willian. The winger has been rare shining light for Chelsea this season, scoring 7 goals in 24 appearances in all competitions.

A proven set-piece specialist, Willian also possesses pace in abundance and has an eye for goal, with seven to his name this term. The 27-year-old has proven himself to be one of the best wingers in the Premier League with his pace and trickery and can cause any side problems on his day.

The Hornets' trip to Stamford Bridge is certainly not as daunting as it may have seemed back in August. Watford have proven that they can cause anyone problems on their day and enter this match brimming with confidence having one four games in a row.

However, Chelsea will want to prove a point under new head coach Guus Hiddink and put on a show for their fans, who are still reeling following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

The Hornets will most certainly have to be at their best if they wish to come away from Stamford Bridge with a point or three.

Team News.

For Chelsea, Eden Hazard could return from a hip injury.

For Watford, Nathan Ake is ineligible to face his parent club. Sebastian Prodl could return whilst Joel Ekstrand, Tommie Hoban and Rene Gilmartin are all out.

Predicted Teams

Chelsea - Courtois (GK), Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry ©, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Matic, Willian, Oscar, Pedro, Costa.

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

Referee - Andre Marriner.