After renewing the romance with the FA cup with good wins and progression to the next round, Watford and Chelsea are set to battle it out for 3 points and more momentum when they face each other at Vicarage Road on Wednesday. Quique Sanchez Flores’s side did falter from their usual levels in recent weeks with 4 consecutive losses until they pegged back to claim all 3 points with a vital win over Newcastle United in their last Premier League game. But Chelsea under Hiddink will be a tough nut to crack with them being unbeaten since they replaced Jose Mourinho with the Dutch boss. Watford, though, after a bright start to their league campaign, sit pretty on the table with a handsome 32 points on board – should still be aiming for one of the European spots available – given the volatility of the rest of the teams in the league.
All eyes will be on John Terry on Wednesday as the veteran captain has announced that he will be playing his final season with the Blues – having led the team for 13 years, coming through their youth ranks. Defending champions Chelsea, as a football club, have found a bit of stability under their new manager Guus Hiddink, after half a season of complete disharmony between the players and the staff, will have to kick on now if they are to finish in one of the European spots by May. Their last win in the league came at the home of their fierce rivals Arsenal, which could be one of the turning points in their season and the fact that they are still in the FA Cup and the Champions League suggests there is still a lot left to play for, as far as some of the world class players at Chelsea are concerned.
Watford have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the visit of Chelsea.
For Chelsea, Willian has picked up a minor knock, according to Guus Hiddink. “Someone stepped on his foot. We have to see but I hope he will recover in two days.” he said.
Watford have kept a clean sheet in half (6) of their last 12 Premier League home matches.
Chelsea have won 28 points from their 23 Premier League games so far in 2015-16 – it took them 11 games to surpass this tally in 2014-15.
Six Watford players have appeared in every single one of their 23 Premier League games this season; more than any other club (Cathcart, Ighalo, Gomes, Nyom, Deeney & Capoue).
The Blues have won seven and lost none of the last nine matches against the Hornets in all competitions (D2).
Key Men Comparison
Odion Ighalo (Watford) v Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Ighalo, has been sensational for Watford, firing in goals with the consistency of a seasoned striker in the Premier League. With 14 goals in 23 appearances only Vardy and Lukaku having scored more than himself, Ighalo has a much bigger role to play in these crucial games of the season – especially against the big sides that tend to deal with the added pressure of European games in the coming weeks. His ruthlessness in front of goal is there for all to see with his averaging a remarkable shot accuracy of 60% – 35 of 59 shots attempted on goal. More of that will be needed if they are to overcome a resilient Chelsea side on Wednesday.
Chelsea have found a bit of form going with them – helped by the recent unbeaten run and a comprehensive win in their last outing against lower league opposition MK Dons in the FA Cup – to book their next fixture, a tantalizing clash against Manchester City. Eden Hazard, last year’s Premier League Player of The Year, in particular, has had his worst season at Chelsea having not scored for about nine months until he converted a spot kick in the 1-5 win against Milton Keynes Dons. His dramatic downturn in form is one of the main reasons why Chelsea have been so poor this year, meaning his resurgence on a personal level, can still keep Chelsea in the hunt for trophies this season, something their fans will be looking forward to.
I don’t see either of the two teams losing this one. A tight draw with plenty of missed chances for both sides.
Watford 1-1 Chelsea