Chelsea - Watford: Preview and Lineups Prediction

Chelsea welcomes a steely Watford team to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon in a fixture that could go a long way towards revea...

Chelsea welcomes a steely Watford team to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon in a fixture that could go a long way towards revealing the Blues' prospects of climbing up the Premier League table under Guus Hiddink.

The Dutchman, who will oversee his first game in charge of Chelsea since his first interim spell in 2009, has spoken of his desire to give every senior player a chance to compete for a starting berth despite their collectively atrocious season to date.

The Blues looked a commanding side during periods of their first outing without Jose Mourinho against Sunderland last weekend, and Hiddink's invitation to impress will hopefully spur a similar performance from his squad. Although our failure to string together consecutive home victories this season is a grim statistic, we have a real opportunity to put these kinds of records to bed with Hiddink's arrival.

On the other hand, Watford is enjoying a rich vein of form this December, racking up four victories on the bounce since suffering an unlucky 2-1 loss to Manchester United in late November.

Watford Team News

Watford will be missing three defenders for the trip to Stamford Bridge on Saturday: Sebastian Prodl (calf), Joel Ekstrand (knee), and Nathan Ake (ineligible due to terms of loan agreement).

Watford Starting XI Prediction

Gomes | Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Anya | Capoue, Watson, Abdi, Jurado | Deeney, Ighalo

Last Five Meetings

Chelsea 3-0 Watford (FA Cup, January 2015)
Chelsea 5-0 Watford (FA Cup, January 2010)
Watford 1-3 Chelsea (FA Cup, February 2009)
Watford 0-1 Chelsea (Premier League, March 2007)
Chelsea 4-0 Watford (Premier League, November 2006)

Score Prediction

Many Chelsea supporters believe the 12-minute period that saw us fire two early goals past Sunderland in our 3-1 victory last weekend is some of the best football we've produced since last season. Let's hope for more of the same, but perhaps in more consistent and refined manner.

In terms of team selection, it will be very intriguing to see what Hiddink makes of his inherited squad. I expect he'll make a few changes to the same old starting eleven Mourinho seemed to pick each week, but the real decision he has to make is whether to tweak our 4-2-3-1 formation or switch to a 4-3-3. What do you think suits us best?

I'm predicting a similar performance to last weekend; we pay show periods of slick play, but not without a handful of lulls in momentum and cheap mistakes.

I think we'll get a 2-1 win. What are your score predictions?

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