Aston Villa vs Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man + Prediction
Chelsea take on Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday looking to extend their lead at the top of the table. Here’s a preview with team news and predicted score
Chelsea take on Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday evening looking to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
The Blues head into the weekend action sitting seven points clear of Arsenal and Liverpool, and with their rivals facing tough away games against Man Utd and Spurs on Sunday, Chelsea have a golden opportunity to put the pressure on by opening up a 10-point advantage with a win at Villa.
All of the West Londoners main competition for the title have games in hand so Jose Mourinho feels the league table is ‘fake’, but even he can’t deny his team would be in a very strong position should they collect all three points tomorrow evening.
Chelsea have hit form at just the right time and they haven’t tasted defeat in the league since way back in early December, with their latest victory being a 4-0 demolition of Tottenham at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
They’ll face a Villa side that beat Norwich 4-1 last time out to move them up to 11th in the table. However, they are still just six points from the relegation zone so Paul Lambert will be desperate to pick up a positive result this weekend to further boost their survival hopes.
Villa will have to make do without the services of on-loan defender Ryan Bertrand as he’s not able to face his parent club. Lambert will have to decide between Joe Bennett or Antonio Luna to fill in at left-back.
Otherwise, the Midlanders have a healthy squad to choose from with only Charles N’Zogbia and Jores Okore out with long-term injuries.
Chelsea will continue to be without defenders David Luiz and Ashley Cole for the game. Luiz has failed to recover from a groin injury while Cole is still troubled by a knee problem that’s kept him out in recent weeks.
Mourinho confirmed earlier today that Fernando Torres has a chance to be in the squad. The Spaniard was forced to miss last weeks win over Spurs after picking up a groin injury during the warm up, but he’s made good progress this week and Mourinho will now decide whether to risk him tomorrow or save him for Tuesday’s clash with Galatasaray.
Eden Hazard: The Belgian has been Chelsea’s main attacking threat for much of the season and he’s expected to be the focal point once again this weekend. Villa will have to keep him quiet if they want to take anything positive away from the game.
Aston Villa 0-2 Chelsea: The Blues haven’t lost at Villa Park since 2009 and have an excellent record against Villa. We can’t see Mourinho’s men passing up this opportunity to put some real day-light between them and their rivals.
What team do you think Mourinho should play and what’s your predicted score? Share your views below.
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