The Blues are right in the thick of things once again in the EPL as they continue to incorporate new-age star Eden Hazard into a lineup that features Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and more.
On the other hand, QPR likely face relegation as they're stuck at the bottom of the league at this point.
It's time to check out everything you need to know for this one-sided Premier League bout.
Where: Stamford Bridge, London, England
When: Wednesday, January 2 at 2:45 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
What They're Saying
Yet again, Chelsea's players were faced with another managerial change in recent weeks as Roberto Di Matteo was replaced by Rafael Benitez.
After a little more than a month on the job, Chelsea's best are starting to warm up to their interim skipper, according to the Daily Mail. An unnamed Chelsea source stated the following in the report.
His style is to give players solutions, ways of playing, and the players have responded to that and embraced it really well. I think the players see they are getting results, which encourages them to keep working and this, in turn, has given them momentum.
Only time and results will tell if Benitez's tenure in Chelsea will be a long one, but it's safe to say that things haven't gotten off to too bad of a start for the former Liverpool manager.
Then again, we all know how short of a leash he's on.
Most Important Player to Watch: Fernando Torres
Transfer news has been swirling around Chelsea about the possible signing of Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid (per Daily Mirror), which would certainly put pressure on currently favored striker Fernando Torres.
Torres is still the closest thing Chelsea has to an elite striker, but his seven goals on the season don't stick out as much as they should.
In other categories, though, Torres is having a bounce-back year and seems able to lead Chelsea to Premier League titles as the go-to guy. He hasn't yet passed his prime, and is becoming more and more affluent with Chelsea's chemistry by the match.
However, a huge game with a hat-trick performance couldn't hurt the spirits of not only Torres, but Chelsea's supporters who believe he can't get it done.
Key Matchup: Eden Hazard vs. QPR's Back-Line
So far, Chelsea's new addition, Eden Hazard, has been everything and more than they imagined, but here's the scary part—he's just getting started.
Hazard wasted no time showing off his immense talent in the Chelsea midfield, but he's still learning how to work appropriately with teammates and build chemistry that will certainly be through the roof in a few seasons.
Although they might look at the EPL standings and see QPR way down at the bottom, goals won't come easy for Chelsea in this match. QPR lose plenty of matches, but they usually do so by just one goal and also notch a fair amount of draws.
This isn't the type of team that usually gets blown out, although they do end up on the losing end fairly often. Much of that is attributed to their defense.
Can Hazard help find the holes in this QPR defense to set up plays for his teammates?
These two teams are headed in completely different directions, as one is gearing up for a Champions League spot while the other is doing all they can to prevent relegation.
At home, Chelsea will roll to an easy victory to start off the new year.
Chelsea 3, QPR 1
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