Olivier Giroud to lead the attack? Predicted 4-3-3 Chelsea line-up to face Watford on Boxing Day

Olivier Giroud of Chelsea

Olivier Giroud

Chelsea face a tough test of their top-four credentials with a trip to Vicarage Road on Boxing Day. The Blues were surprisingly defeated by Leicester City at the Bridge on Saturday and sit level on points with Arsenal in the race for the fourth spot.

The Blues have a better goal difference and are above the Gunners, but we need to perform much better on Wednesday.

Watford are a difficult team to face and have been impressive this season. We have another tough away game after this, with Crystal Palace waiting on Sunday.

Maurizio Sarri might have given the hair-dryer treatment to some players after the loss, and this is my predicted line-up for Wednesday.

Predicted Chelsea XI

Formation: 4-3-3

Manager: Maurizio Sarri

Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK)

Arrizabalaga could have done better to keep Jamie Vardy from scoring in the previous game and the youngster has to be careful of the attacking threat from Watford’s forwards.

Cesar Azpilicueta Chelsea

Cesar Azpilicueta (RB)

Davide Zappacosta won’t start unless Cesar is injured and the Spaniard has to be careful in dealing with Watford’s wingers.

David Luiz (CB)

Luiz should remain in the starting XI despite the loss to Leicester and has to be at his best against the Hornets.

Antonio Rudiger (CB)

The German will continue in the back-line and needs to be wary of Troy Deeney’s physicality.

Marcos Alonso (LB)

The Spanish left-back hasn’t been consistent this season but we don’t have a lot of quality options for this position and he should stay in the side.

Jorginho Chelsea

Jorginho (CM)

Jorginho makes the team tick and there is no way Sarri will drop him, irrespective of the previous result.

N’Golo Kante (CM)

Possibly the other undroppable player in Chelsea’s midfield. Kante should start on Wednesday against a physical Watford team.

Ross Barkley (CM)

Mateo Kovacic could be rested with Barkley coming into the fray on Wednesday. The Englishman has looked good in a few games and needs to start more often.

Pedro of Chelsea

Pedro (RW)

The Spanish winger is having an on and off season and needs to put up a great performance on Wednesday.

Olivier Giroud (ST)

It was a surprise seeing Giroud on the bench in the previous game. The Frenchman might not score many goals but he links up well with the wide men.

Read more: Gianfranco Zola reveals this 8-goal Premier League striker is a Chelsea target

Eden Hazard (LW)

Hazard should be shifted wide to accommodate Giroud. The Belgian doesn’t seem to do well as the false 9 and needs to be running down the flank.

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