Chelsea v Aston Villa Preview
A season ago, it would’ve been a cardiac arresting surprise to see Chelsea just 2 places above the 18th placed Aston Villa. The Blues, who have clearly failed to recapture their title winning form ever since the season began, will lock horns with the struggling Villains come Saturday afternoon.
The season has been in shambles for Chelsea, to sound uncomplicated and fair. The ruins of what has been left have been burnt to ashes further by Jose Mourinho and his recent statements after their 3-1 loss at the hands of Southampton off late. They’ve accumulated just 8 points in the league, winning just two of their outings and losing as many as four of them. The repercussions of the statements made by Mourinho have although left him fuming but has played a part in annihilating the morale at the club. They’ve conceded 17 goals in the season, which is the joint highest.
As far as Aston Villa are concerned, things haven’t been pretty at all for them too. With Tim Sherwood’s job possibly in jeopardy, he’d be looking to get some points in the bag. Aston Villa have been better away than at home this season, having scored six out of their total eight away from home. They have failed to register a single win after their opening day triumph over newly promoted Bournemouth and their recent defeat to Stoke was their fourth consecutive one.
Chelsea v Aston Villa – Past Meetings
The last time Aston Villa defeated Chelsea was back in the 2013-14 season when Ramires was sent off and Fabian Delph’s strike had handed Villa three crucial points.
Last season, it was all Chelsea. With the Blues having won both the encounters, 3-0 and 2-1 at home and away respectively.
The good news for Chelsea would pertain to Diego Costa’s return to action after the three-match suspension that the Spaniard had been dealt with after an altercation with Gabriel Paulista during Chelsea’s 2-0 win over the Gunners weeks ago.
Another good news ( in a rather sarcastic manner) would be the fact that bang out of form Branislav Ivanovic’s hamstring problem will keep him out for the remainder of this month.
As far as Aston Villa are concerned, Ciaran Clark, young Gary Gardner and Jores Okore are sidelined due to injury problems of their own, while the trio of Gabby Agbonlahor, Tiago Ilori and new signing from Barcelona Adama Traore are doubtful for the clash at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea: Diego Costa- The 26-year-old will be back to provide Chelsea with an impetus of hunger and intent. That is something Chelsea have been lacking in his presence and the deficiency of determination was clear during their games against Newcastle, Porto and Southampton. He has scored once and with the Villa defense in tatters, he will take advantage of that.
Aston Villa: Jack Grealish- The 20-year-old has already shown signs of his true qualities and has the ability to pull a rabbit out of his hat too. Pace and technique is something that has troubled this Chelsea defense this season. Grealish has got both of these traits and along with Carles Gil or Jordan Ayew, he can look to exploit Chelsea’s struggling midfield and the defense, which has been in tatters due to it.
Chelsea v Aston Villa – Prediction
Diego Costa’s return would hand Chelsea a huge incentive to go and win this game, being at home on Saturday. The win won’t come too easily at any costs, because Villa would sit back and look for opportunities, without exposing their defense. They know the Chelsea defense struggles when made to run back at the break and they’d look to do that. But I still think Chelsea have enough firepower to fend off a relegation threatened Aston Villa side. I’d fancy a 2-0 win for the Blues.