Chelsea vs Aston Villa Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man + Prediction
Chelsea take on Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon. Here is a preview with team news, likely line-ups, key man and predicted score.
Chelsea will look to cement their place at the top of the Premier League when they take on Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues have started the season in excellent form, winning their opening four games before holding defending champions Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium last weekend.
It leaves the West Londoners three points clear of second-placed Southampton at the top of the table, so Jose Mourinho will look to at least maintain that advantage with another win this weekend.
However, Villa arrive in the capital sitting third in the table after a superb start themselves, with Paul Lambert’s side winning three and drawing one of their opening four games before that run was ended with a 3-0 loss to Arsenal last Saturday.
Chelsea will continue to be without the services of midfielder Ramires with a groin injury expected to keep the Brazilian out until after the international break.
Mourinho has confirmed that star striker Diego Costa will return to the starting line-up after being rested in midweek as he continues to nurse a niggling hamstring problem.
Otherwise, the Portuguese coach has no other injury concerns to deal with and is expected to recall a number of first team regulars after making wholesale changes for the midweek win over Bolton.
Villa are also edging closer to having a fully-fit squad with a number of players now recovered from a virus that swept the squad last weekend.
However, skipper Ron Vlaar (calf) and striker Christian Benteke (Achilles) remain out, and the duo join long-term injury victim Libor Kozak on the sidelines.
Cesc Fabregas: The Spaniard has started life at Stamford Bridge in sensational form and his partnership with Diego Costa is going to be crucial to this match. Villa must find a way of stopping the supply line from Fabregas.
Chelsea 2-0 Aston Villa: The visitors started the season in fine form but were derailed by Arsenal last week and with Chelsea scoring a staggering 27 goals in their last seven league home games against them, we can see another three points for Mourinho tomorrow.
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