Stamford Bridge, London
4th January 2015, 21:30 IST
Chelsea FC entertain Championship side Watford, in the third round of FA Cup. Although both teams will hope for progression into the fourth round, Chelsea FC are clear favorites to hammer Watford and secure safe passage. Jose Mourinho’s men are expected to be shuffled, whereas Watford is expected to start with the same lineup that they deployed against Cardiff. Mourinho’s men will be hoping to rue their ‘clumsy’ 5-3 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur, last time around, and deliver a solid noteworthy performance.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Suffering a 5-3 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur could be termed as something that was coming, but Mourinho’s men have nobody to blame apart from themselves. It was evident that the team was reeling against fatigue and fell victims to complacency. With fatigue a major problem, Mourinho is expected to make many changes to his starting XI against Watford. Although team balance would be of utmost importance for Mourinho, depth in talents could perhaps easily fill that void.
Chelsea FC’s loyal custodian, Petr Cech is expected to start and replace Thiabut Courtois, who suffered a mauling at the hands of one Harry Kane. John Terry is expected to warm the bench and youngster Kurt Zouma, is expected to fill his boots. With Azpilicueta expected to ply his consistent trade on the right flank, a more attacking Fellipe Luis is expected to play in the left back domain.
With a defense that is expected to keep Watford’s lowly attack out, Chelsea FC will field the pivot pairing of Nemanja Matic and Ramires. Matic has been standout performer in Chelsea FC’s contingent and has dished out consistent performances, ever since Mourinho fell in love with him. Ramires, a more mobile option, could prove to be Watford’s nightmare. The Brazilian is known for his lunging sudden bursts forward and has been deployed rightly to by Mourinho- to thwart teams running low on talent, like Watford. Ramires’s burst of energy would also provide Chelsea FC a passing option or a creative outlet in the final third of the game.
Inter Milan bound Mohammad Salah, alongside Oscar and Andre Schurrle, are expected to play behind prolific striker, Diego Costa and bolster Chelsea FC’s movements in the final third. Salah’s speed, Oscar’s vision and Costa’s sublime finishing, could prove hefty for Watford’s defense.
Chelsea FC, are hands down favorites for this fixture and will hope to give Watford a hammering, perhaps to make up for their defeat against Tottneham Hotspur, midweek.
Chelsea FC Probable Lineup: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Zouma, Luis, Matic, Ramies, Oscar, Salah, Shurrle, Costa
The Championship team will be ruing the gods of fate, who paired them against arguably the best team in England right now. Lowly Watford are expected to commit mend behind the ball, and pan out in a highly structured 3-5-2.
Slaviša Jokanović’s men will be hoping for a lethargic Chelsea FC fused with lady luck, to guide them in this fixture. The Championship side, won 4-2 against Cardiff City, last time around. Watford, is expected to congest the midfield region, by deploying an extra man in that region.
Although, the odds the very badly scaled against the Championship, like all teams subdued by Chelsea FC, over the course of their impressive campaign, Watford will attack through counters and then rely on the numeric superiority of men in the midfield region. The absence of center back Sebastian Bassong, has piled another worry for Watford. Former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper, Gomes, is expected to have a busy day at the office.
Watford Probable Lineup: Gomes, Hoban, Cathcart, Angella, Juan, Abdi, Guediora, Munari, Pudil, Ighalo, Forestieri.
- Chelsea have won four of the five FA Cup ties they have played against Watford, including one after a replay.
- The Blues have scored nine goals without conceding in two previous FA Cup ties against the Hornets.
- The first ever meeting between Chelsea and Watford (March 1970) and the last (January 2010) have come in the FA Cup.
- Chelsea have only lost two of their last 33 FA Cup matches (W25 D6 L2), though one of the draws saw them eliminated on penalties by Everton.
- Oscar has four goals and two assists in eight FA Cup starts for Chelsea.
- In the last six seasons, Watford have been knocked out twice by Man City, twice by Chelsea, once by Spurs and once by Brighton.
Nemanja Matic ( Chelsea FC )
Nemanja Matic has been a revelation for Chelsea FC and especially Jose Mourinho. Mourinho’s men have perhaps been provided a safe haven in defense, largely because of the presence of the imposing Serb. Matic, is expected to pull strings in this match and pierce Watford’s defense with accurate through balls.
Chelsea FC 4 – Watford 0
An impressive Chelsea FC side, is expected to hammer Watford. Chelsea FC, are expected to dominate possession and hover around the final third, for the majority of the match.