John Terry’s farewell tour begins when Chelsea travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Chelsea skipper Terry revealed he will not be offered a new contract at Stamford Bridge after their 5-1 demolition of MK Dons in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.
The former England captain will therefore end his 17-and-a-half-year playing career with his boyhood club, having made 690 appearances to date and won every major club honour, including four Premier League titles.
Terry is set to lead Chelsea at Vicarage Road this week as the visitors look to extend their nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions since Guus Hiddink took over from Jose Mourinho.
And even though the reigning champions still sit some 14 points adrift of the top four, Terry’s central-defensive partner Gary Cahill believes they have turned the corner.
“We look like we are going in the right direction,” Cahill said. “Of course, the first half of the season was a disaster.
“But there was another good performance in the FA Cup, not just the result but the way we moved the ball.
“If you get results and don’t lose games, it breeds confidence and everything comes back. I wouldn’t say we are totally there yet but we are definitely going in the right direction.”
The win over MK Dons also saw Eden Hazard end his long wait for a goal this season, but Willian picked up a late knock.
Hiddink may rest the Brazilian as a result, but Alexandre Pato could come in after completing his loan move from Corinthians last week.
Watford are sure to provide a stern test to Hiddink’s unbeaten run, though, with Quique Sanchez Flores’ side buoyed by their FA Cup victory at Nottingham Forest, which was sealed by Odion Ighalo’s 89th-minute winner.
Flores’ team bounced back from four-straight top-flight losses with a 2-1 win over Newcastle United in their last league game, and claimed a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day.
Spain international midfielder Mario Suarez could make his Watford debut on Wednesday, and he cannot wait to get going after joining from Fiorentina on Saturday.
“I am really excited,” Suarez told the club’s official website. “I want to start working to know all of my team-mates and to start playing for Quique, for the Watford fans and for the club.”
Key Opta Stats:
• Chelsea scored with their only two shots on target in the 2-2 home draw with Watford back on Boxing Day.
• The Blues have won seven and lost none of the last nine matches against the Hornets in all competitions.
• Odion Ighalo has scored seven goals in his last seven Premier League matches at Vicarage Road.
• Chelsea have won 28 points from their 23 Premier League games so far in 2015-16 – it took them just 11 games to surpass this tally in 2014-15.
• Watford’s 32-point tally after 23 games this season is the best at this stage of a season by a newly-promoted side since Birmingham City (34) in 2009-10.
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