The premier league returns today and we look forward to the exciting fixtures lined up. Leicester City will be top of the Premier Leagu...
The premier league returns today and we look forward to the exciting fixtures lined up.
Leicester City will be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day, and they will hope to consolidate their billing as England's best team after a tricky visit to Anfield to face Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp's Reds were humiliated at the hands of Watford in the league last time out, and the German will be looking for a quick response against the rampant Foxes. Manchester United travel to Stoke City in a must-win game for manager Louis van Gaal.
He has witnessed his team go six games without a victory in all competitions, crashing out of the UEFA Champions League in the process. Guus Hiddink returns to Stamford Bridge for his second interim spell in charge of Chelsea after the sacking of Jose Mourinho, and the Blues face a jubilant Watford, who sit eight places above the reigning league champions.
In years gone by, the visit of Watford would have given Chelsea the chance to sharpen their swords for a goal fest at home. However, the Hornets are in exceptional form, as Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo run riot in the Premier League against all opposition. The strike duo destroyed Liverpool in their previous league match, and they look like the best current pairing in England—along with Leicester's Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.
|The perfect duo! Deeney and Ighalo|
Ighalo's statistics have been exceptional this term, scoring 12 goals in 17 Premier League appearances, according to WhoScored.com—including a sumptuous double against Liverpool.
Chelsea's defence will not have cured its ills in only a few short days of obtaining Hiddink's services, and the natural pace and power of Watford's strike force will give them infinite problems.
John Terry doesn't have the speed to battle with Ighalo one-on-one, and if Deeney finds space in the pocket, the Blues' midfield will need to be at their most disciplined—an element not witnessed under Mourinho this season.
The champions' best form of defence will be attack, and if Hazard can roll back the months to find his best form, Watford will be shoved onto the back foot. The lack of morale and joy in Chelsea's game has been evident to watching supporters and neutrals, and they must rediscover this on Boxing Day.
If they don't, the Blues could be staring a relegation fight in the face at the turn of the year, and if Hazard doesn't rediscover his mojo, the owner will be forced to splash the cash in January.
Premier League Fixtures Today
Stoke City Vs Man United 1:45pm
Chelsea Vs Watford 4pm
Man City Vs Sunderland 4pm
Liverpool Vs Leicester City 4pm
Aston Villa Vs West Ham 4pm
Swansea City Vs West Brom 4pm