Two of the season’s surprise sides lock horns at Stamford Bridge as struggling Chelsea face newly-promoted Watford, who are chasing European football, despite being tipped to struggle.
Last season’s champions have appointed Guus Hiddink as interim manager after Jose Mourinho was sacked, following a 2-1 defeat at league-leaders Leicester City.
The Dutchman, who won the FA Cup with the Blues after taking up the same role after the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2009, will take charge of the the club for the first time in his second spell on Boxing Day.
Supporters showed their anger at the sacking of Mourinho during the 3-1 win over Sunderland last time out as boos and songs backing the ‘Special One’ circled inside Stamford Bridge.
Despite that victory, Chelsea sit just three points above the bottom-three and have been beaten four times in eight home matches this term.
The Hornets are at the other end of the spectrum to their hosts having won four top flight matches in a row for the first time since 1987, most-recently dispatching Liverpool 3-0 at Vicarage Road last Sunday.
Quique Sanchez Flores’ side sit seventh in the Premier League table at Christmas – one point off a Europa League and Champions League spot.
They’ve also won four and drawn two of their eight away matches and in Odion Ighalo have the league’s fourth highest scorer with 12 goals this term.
Eden Hazard is a doubt for the game, having missed the Sunderland game after limping off in the first-half of Mourinho’s final match as manager.
Radamel Falcao is also unlikely to feature, but there are no other injury concerns for interim boss Hiddink on debut.
Flores has a full squad to choose from with the exception of defender Joel Ekstrand, who is nearing a return from a setback he suffered against Ipswich Town last season.
League position: Chelsea – 15th (18 pts); Watford: 7th (28 pts)
Last meeting: Chelsea 3-0 Watford (FA Cup) – January 4, 2015
League form: Chelsea – LWDLLW; Watford – LLWWWW
Key players: Chelsea – Oscar; Watford – Odion Ighalo
Shoot says: Chelsea 2-1 Watford