Aston Villa vs Chelsea FC: Thoughts And Prediction

Chelsea FC will travel to Villa Park on Saturday to face an Aston Villa team having one of their worst ever runs. The Villans have not won a Premier League game since December 7th, and are coming off the back of a 5-0 loss to Arsenal.

Chelsea aren’t having a great 2015 either, but since that loss to Tottenham, things have improved. They managed a favorable 1-1 draw vs Manchester City last weekend, a result which keeps them ahead of the pack by five points.

The hosts have only won two of the last 10 games played between the sides, with Chelsea coming out on top six times; but Villa did land a major blow to the Blues’ title ambitions last season when they visited Villa Park.

The Blues went down 1-0, and had both Ramires and Willian sent off towards the end of the match.

Aston Villa will be desperate for a win, they have only managed 22 points this season, and sit in 16th place — 4 points away from the relegation zone. They stand the risk of missing out on Premier League football next season, so they will be out to set things straight.

Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph – Credit: Kody Platter (Flickr Creative Commons)

Injured pair Ron Vlaar and Joe Cole could return in time for this match, but the Villans will be without Philippe Senderos for a little while longer.

Jose Mourinho and his squad have a bigger target in sight — the Premier League title. They have put themselves in the best position to capture the coveted trophy this season, but with City close behind, they will be trying their best to avoid an upset.

Diego Costa will be out for the second game of his three-match ban, so Loic Remy could start up front once more. The Frenchman made good of his opportunity in the last match, scoring the opener against City.

Cesc Fabregas — who sat out with a hamstring injury on Saturday — should be healthy enough to return. John Obi Mikel could also play a a part, but there is no return date for Filipe Luis (calf/shin).

Mourinho also has the luxury of playing new signing Juan Cuadrado, but a start for the Colombian seems very unlikely at this point.

Players To Watch

Aston Villa

Christian Benteke

The big Belgian is always a threat in the box. Strong in the air, with a good eye for goal, he provides a target for his teammates. Since his injury, he hasn’t been able to reach the heights he once put on display, but Chelsea will still need to pay close attention.

Fabian Delph

Supporters of both clubs remember Delph’s stunner against Chelsea last season all too well. The Englishman is maturing at Villa, even breaking into Roy Hodgson’s England squad last year. With pace and dribbling as his main assets, Delph could hurt the Blues at any time. Mourinho will certainly have him under strict supervision this time around.

Chelsea

Nemanja Matic

Matic has been a standout among standouts this season. Since his return, he has been everything that Chelsea needs in a holding midfielder. Last weekend, in the absence of Fabregas, he showed more of his offensive skill set, whilst helping to neutralize the threat from City.

Paul Lambert’s team will have a hard time keeping the Serbian quiet, but they will need to do so if they want to get anything from this game.

Eden Hazard

This really goes without saying. Hazard, at his best, is unplayable; his pace, trickery and ball handling puts him a cut above the rest. Aston Villa stand the risk of being torn apart by the Belgian if they don’t bring their A game.

Prediction

This one should be easy to call if we look to the form guide, but that can’t always be trusted. Still, I can’t see Chelsea walking away from this match without a win.

Aston Villa – 0, Chelsea – 3