Aston Villa v Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups & Predicted Score
Chelsea take on Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday lunchtime looking to secure a top-four finish this season. Here’s a preview with team news for the game.
Chelsea take on Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday lunchtime looking to secure a top-four finish this season, while the hosts can cement their top flight status for another year with a positive result.
The Blues missed the chance to ensure Champions League qualification in midweek when Tottenham scored a late equaliser to snatch a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night and keep the race for the top-four alive.
The result leaves Rafa Benitez men sitting third in the Premier League table, two points ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal and three ahead of fifth-placed Spurs with just two games remaining, so a win this Saturday will ensure they finish in the top-four due to their superior goal-difference.
Villa on the other hand have very different concerns to worry about with Paul Lamberts side still sweating on their Premier League status, despite currently laying in 13th place in the table.
Villa have picked up five wins in eight and hit the 40 point marker last weekend but with 18th placed Wigan on 35 points, the Midlanders are still not mathematically safe so therefore need a win this weekend to guarantee survival for another year.
Lambert is sweating on the fitness of right back Matthew Lowton after he picked up a thigh strain against Norwich last weekend. The young defender will be given a late fitness test but is expected to be passed fit.
Richard Dunne is back in training having been sidelined after almost 10 months, but he’s well short of match fitness and isn’t expected to feature again this season. Karim El Ahmadi and Ciaran Clark will once again be on the sidelines through injury.
Frank Lampard will return to the starting line-up for Chelsea having been an unused substitute against Spurs and he will bid to become the clubs all-time record goalscorer.
Eden Hazard is set to face a late fitness test after being forced off late on in midweek with a calf strain, while Victor Moses also picked up a kock but is expected to start.
Midfielder John Obi Mikel is back in training afer a hip injury ruled him out against Spurs but Ryan Bertrand remains out with a knee problem. Oriol Romeu could return to the squad following his long-term absence with a knee problem.
Chelsea ran out 8-0 winners in the reverse fixture at the Bridge back in December so you’d expect Villa have something to prove this time around. But the Blues have been in excellent form of late and were unlucky not to collect all three points against Tottenham in midweek, so I’m going for an away win. Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea
What would be your preferred line-up for the game and what’s your score prediction? Get involved in the comments section below.
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