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Predicted Chelsea lineup against Watford: All the usual suspects

Clive Mason/Getty Images

We may have been fumbling a bit in the dark as far as the predicted lineup was concerned for the FA Cup match against MK Dons -- and it showed, considering how far off I was from what Hiddink ended up going with -- but the lineup for tomorrow's match at Watford seems a lot more obvious.

Hiddink rotated a few players in for the FA Cup, but for the Premier League, the usual suspects should be restored.  In defense, that means starts for the two players with the most minutes under their belts this season in the back four, Cesar Azpilicueta and Kurt Zouma.  (I know! I was surprised by that, too!)

chelsea minutes

Ahead of them, Hiddink favorite John Obi Mikel should come back into the side, probably alongside Nemanja Matic whom Hiddink seems intent on playing into good form.  That should mean that Cesc Fabregas pushes back up into the #10 role, just as against Arsenal.  Alongside him we should find the now fully fit Eden Hazard on the left and one of either Oscar (the weekend's hat-trick hero who's been used in a wide role in the last few games by Guus) or Willian (who's a bit of an injury concern thanks to his foot) on the right.  Injuries and other fitness concerns to strikers not named Diego Costa leave the one striker who is named Diego Costa to make his manyeth straight start.

So, the lineup that more or less picks itself should be:

Courtois | Azpilicueta, Terry, Zouma, Ivanovic | Matic, Mikel | Hazard, Fabregas, Oscar | Costa

The community has a slight variation on this theme, one that includes both Willian and Oscar at the expense of Matic.  Equally plausible as my prediction, I'd say.

Courtois | Azpilicueta, Terry, Zouma, Ivanovic | Fabregas, Mikel | Hazard, Oscar, Willian | Costa

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