A struggling Aston Villa host a buoyant Chelsea at Villa Park this weekend in Saturday’s late afternoon kick-off. The hosts need to stop the rot as they slide towards relegation, while Frank Lampard’s Blues are looking to solidify their grasp on the top four.
Where and when: Villa Park – 14 March, kick-off 17:30
Where you can see Aston Villa vs. Chelsea: Sky Sports
Last time: Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount struck for Chelsea either side of a Trezeguet equaliser, as the Blues beat Villa 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in early December.
Aston Villa v Chelsea Predictions and Preview
Aston Villa’s promising season is in serious danger of culminating in an immediate return to the Championship. The Villans are looking to snap a five-match losing run against a Chelsea team who’ve recorded a couple of very good wins in their last two outings.
The Blues followed up their impressive FA Cup victory over Premier League leaders Liverpool with a resounding 4-0 win against fellow Merseysiders Everton last weekend. Lampard’s side were full of the vibrant energy and incisive forward play that characterised their early season form, while the west London outfit are benefitting from the resurgent form of Olivier Giroud.
The French World Cup winner has returned to the starting line-up to great effect in recent weeks, linking up the play brilliantly to the profit of the likes of Mount, Willian, Ross Barkley and Pedro. After conceding 56 goals in 28 Premier League fixtures so far this season, at an average of exactly two per game, Chelsea’s forward line could cause the Villa defence a lot of problems on Saturday.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Chelsea to win to nil
Aston Villa to win 1-0 and Grealish to score
Giroud to score first
Dean Smith’s side have let in 13 goals in losing their last five matches in all competitions, including the narrow 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in the League Cup final. As well as their Wembley heartbreak, Villa have slipped to 19th in the Premier League table, although they’re still only two points behind West Ham and Watford who lie 16th and 17th respectively.
With an incredibly tough run-in ahead of them which includes trips to Anfield and Goodison Park, as well as home games against Midlands rivals Wolves, Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as an away fixture against fellow relegation contenders West Ham on the final day of the season, Villa simply have to start picking up some points.
After Monday’s heavy 4-0 defeat away to Leicester City, Smith needs a reaction from his players here. It’s tough to see with the form of both teams in mind, but the Villa boss is 19/5 to get the response he’s after by picking up the three points against Chelsea. The visitors meanwhile are the 8/11 favourites for the win in the latest betting odds, while the draw’s priced at 10/3.
One to watch for Aston Villa: Villa’s hopes of survival are resting quite heavily on the shoulders of captain Jack Grealish. The impressive midfielder has seven Premier League goals to his name so far this term, and is 11/1 to add to his tally with the opening goal of this game.
One to watch for Chelsea: Olivier Giroud has scored two goals in his last three Premier League matches, and with Tammy Abraham continuing his spell on the sidelines, the Frenchman has become a crucial member of Lampard’s side. He is 19/4 to demonstrate his importance once again by breaking the deadlock on Saturday.
Long shot: Villa’s last victory over Chelsea was a 1-0 success almost six years to the day, when Fabian Delph scored the winning goal for the Villans. Chelsea have won all five meetings since, keeping three clean sheets, but Villa are 18/1 to give their survival hopes a massive boost with a 1-0 win. Those odds rise to a massive 170/1 with Grealish getting the goal.