Chelsea are set to host Watford on Boxing Day of 2015, as Guus Hiddink will take the reigns for the first time this season. We all remember 2009 when the Blues sacked Luis Felipe Scolari and the Dutchman came in to steady the ship and lead the West Londoners to a FA Cup title.
This time it’ll be much harder for Hiddink, as he has inherited a squad who is hard pressed for confidence and lacking a real identity.
The Blues enter the match on the back of three points against Sunderland, with Steve Holland at the helm. Now Hiddink will take over and the expectations will be raised.
Watford enters the game in 7th place, 10 points above Chelsea in the table. Odion Ighalo leads the team in goals, netting 12 times for the Hornets.
Chelsea currently have a player on loan to Watford in the form of Nathan Ake. The young Dutchman has started 9 of 17 matches for the Yellow Army. He’s having quite a good season under Quique Flores.
Watford are no longer flying under the radar as they sit just 1 point below a top four position, with just Manchester United, Crystal Palace, and Tottenham in front of them for fourth place.
Chelsea will have their hands full with a red hot team, looking to make their stamp on the Premier League.
Hiddink will look to set the standard for his time in charge. He will want to get an idea of where the squad is and evaluate what changes need to be made.
Look for Chelsea to play more free-flowing football than we saw under Mourinho. They may change their formation, but any such tinkering will be a work in progress. Hiddink’s main target will be three points and to build confidence amongst the squad. Anything else is an added bonus.
Predicted Lineup: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Terry, Baba Rahman, Matic, Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Pedro, Diego Costa.
Predicted Score: Chelsea 2, Watford 0