Chelsea travel to Hull for the early Saturday morning kick off. This is a repeat of the opening day fixture when Chelsea played, arguably, their best 30 minutes of football in the current campaign. This will be a stern test of the Blue’s title credentials. Chelsea will go top with a win, at least until 1530 on Sunday.
Hull City have a fantastic home record this season. They have won 5, drawn 3 and only lost 2. They hammered Fulham 6-0, saw off an impressive Liverpool team 3-1 and gained a hard fought point against stoke. Hull have also kept 6 clean sheets in their 10 home games. I expect Steve Bruce’s outfit to play 5-4-1 with the wing backs providing additional cover against Chelsea’s marauding front four.
When the Blue’s played Hull on the opening day, we were quite simply outstanding for 30 minutes. The game changed in the second period, with the introduction of Huddlestone and Livermore. This midfield combo is as good as anyone in the league. Huddleston caused havoc against Fulham with his free kicks and is dangerous from 25 yards. I’m sure Jose has done his homework and will be wary of their threat.
Chelsea travel northwards in pretty good shape themselves. Mourinho’s team have won four and drawn one in their last 5 outings, scored 8 and conceded only 1. That type of form is reminiscent of ‘the special one’s’ first tenure in SW6. A lot of this is down to the form of a few players namely; ‘dave’ Azpilicueta, Gary Cahil, JT, Oscar and Willian, the latter has been quite sensational recently.
I expect Chelsea to have a familiar 4-2-3-1 look with Hazard, Oscar and Willian behind the sharp looking Torres. The enigma of Chelsea’s number 9 continues to be the focus of pub conversations; I think we have a new Torres on our hands. He looks rested, sharp, up for it and willing to help the team. It is only a matter of time before he hits top form and Chelsea will finally get a return on the £50 mil outlay.
My prediction is a 2-0 away win, Chelsea going top and Torres to score. Following this weekend Chelsea have three matches at home before the big one, away to Man City on February 3rd.