guus hiddink
It will be a miracle if he inspires Chelsea to be the No 1 in the table at this junctureReuters

What can Guus Hiddink bring for Chelsea? That is the millon dollar question on the lips of every English football fan as the Blues get set to welcome a high-flying Watford in the Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day 2015.

Chelsea had a torrid start to their EPL season this time; so far, they have never even been able to find a place in the top half of the Premier League table. On top of that, highly-rated manager Jose Mourinho was sacked just a week back owing to the team's poor run of form.

Nobody could fathom how life would be for the defending champions without Mourinho, but the Blues did come back with a bang just days after his sacking. Chelsea won 3-1 at home against Sunderland last weekend, and some feel that the emphatic display was fuelled by Mourinho's untimely departure.

Afterall, even John Terry said that he was utterly disappointed to see the Portuguese manager leave the club midway.

Nevertheless, this is Hiddink's first game in charge in the 2015-16 season. The Dutchman also filled in as the interim manager at Stamford Bridge in February 2009, replacing Luiz Felipe Scolari.

"We cannot ignore what has happened in the recent past, but I asked them [the Chelsea players] and told them to look in the mirror and be hypercritical and give the best for the team," Hiddink said ahead of the game.

"They have to look forward. There must be a great desire to play, yes? If you don't have that desire, please knock on my door and we'll talk - we'll talk briefly."

Chelsea are currently 15th in the table, while their opponents Watford are on a dream run of form, as they have recorded emphatic wins in all their last four fixtures. The Hornets are currently seventh in the table, and they come into this game at the backdrop of a massive 3-0 win against powerhouses Liverpool.

Nevertheless, previous results don't matter when you face a team like Chelsea, and Quique Sanchez Flores knows that. "It's tougher when a team have changed the manager," the Watford boss said. "The team know that they need to show for the new manager. But we are ready for the experience.

"They [Chelsea] play well and they have lots of experience and quality. We are expecting a very tough match. He's [Guss Hiddink is] always thinking about the ball, about possession. He's worried about the players feeling free. It was 21 years ago - but things change."

Team news

Chelsea: Except Radamel Falcao and Eden Hazard, all players in the squad are fit to take part in today's match.

Watford: Tommie Hoban (groin) and Joel Ekstrand (knee) are sidelined for the game. Nathan Ake, on loan at Watford from Chelsea, is meanwhile ineligible to play against his parent club.

Possible starting XI

Chelsea: Courtois; Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic; Fabregas, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Pedro; Diego Costa.

Watford: Gomes; Britos, Prodl, Nyom, Anya; Capoue, Watson; Abdi, Deeney, Juardo; Ighalo.

Where to watch the game

Boxing Day 2015: Stoke City vs Manchester United is scheduled to kick-off at 3 pm GMT (8:30 pm IST, 10 am EST) on Saturday, 26 December.

In India, viewers can catch the game on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD 4. Online streaming will be available on and Hotstar (delayed start).

In the UK and Ireland, radio commentary of the game will be available on TalkSport Radio Worldwhile the online streaming will be available on Chelsea TV.

In the US, viewers can catch the game on the USA Network. Online streaming will be available on NBC Sports Live Extra. Radio commentary of the game will be available on Westwood One Sports.

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