After easing into the next round of the FA Cup, with a considerable victory against Championship side MK Dons, Chelsea are heading to Vicarage Road to face 10th place Watford. With the reverse fixture ending in a 2-2 draw this game is not a forgone conclusion, Chelsea will have to continue their fine form to take home all three points on Wednesday evening.
The 2-2 draw at home on boxing day was the start to Hiddink’s second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge. While the teams shared the points on the day, it was Chelsea who were unlucky to take the win; with the first goal coming from Matic thinking he was in next week’s Super-bowl, as he handled the ball in the box, from a corner and the second coming from a shot from talented striker Ighalo, which struck Garry Cahill, resulting in it beating Courtois. Not to take away from Watford who put in a fine performance, but it was another dose of Chelsea being stuck by misfortune, hopefully, it won’t happen again.
The last fixture was also important as it brought the return of Costa’s goal scoring form, as he netted a brace. Before this match he had scored just three Premier League goals, where as now 5 matches later, he stands on 8 goals this term. Costa’s revival has been a large component of the Chelsea’s return to form, with the other half being Cesc Fabregas. Fabregas has also began to return to his sparkling performances which he showcased at the beginning of last season,
The question needs to be asked though, are Chelsea actually back? While undefeated under Hiddink, they have only managed two Premier League wins under his management, a near perfect 3-0 win over Crystal Palace and 1-0 win over rivals Arsenal. The Arsenal victory, while a strong result, it was against a 10-man team. Hiddink will need to ensure that his players do not become over confident with recent results and that they focus on each game individually, in the hope of climbing the table.
While fit enough to board a flight to Madrid on Monday, it is expected that Falcao will once again miss this match (Thigh). Remy (calf) is close to returning to training, even expecting to return this week. Willian (Foot) picked up a small injury and his availability will be tested before the match.
Defensive duo Joel Ekstarand (Knee) and Tommy Hoban (groin) are expected to miss Wednesday’s fixture, although the prior is scheduled to be available for selection on Saturday for the match against Tottenham. Chelsea loanee Nathan Ake is ineligible
to face his parent club.
Both teams have struggled for goals in recent weeks, with Watford suffering a poor run of form despite a good spell prior to Christmas. We doubt there would be too much in terms of goalmouth action in this one, but be sure to use this promotional code should you think you can predict the score. We expect it to finish 1-0 to Chelsea, with Costa the man to win it for the Blues.
Courtois, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta, Mikel, Fabregas, Pedro, Oscar, Hazard, Costa
Gomes, Paredes, Britos, Cathcart, Holebas, Capoue, Watson, Behrami, Jurado, Deeney, Ighalo