Sunday, December 8, 2019

Prediction: Chelsea vs Aston Villa

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to make a much-needed return to winning ways, Chelsea will welcome Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Chelsea

Starting with the hosts, after suffering a shock 1-0 defeat at home against London rivals West Ham over the weekend, Frank Lampard suddenly finds his side in desperate need of a pick me up. While Chelsea might still sit fourth in the standings and dreaming of landing another Champions League campaign next year, the former Premier League champions have failed to win any of their last three matches across all competitions and they have now recorded just a single victory since the 2nd of November. While the Blues’ youthful side may have continued to catch the eye in the final third, there is no doubt that the former England midfielder will be calling on his side to find some much-needed defensive stability. Along with winning just one of their last four matches at Stamford Bridge, the Blues have remarkably recorded just a single clean sheet in any of their last eight appearances. Although Chelsea might be in the midst of a minor struggle, they will take plenty of solace from their most recent meetings against Wednesday’s guests. Lampard’s side have won each of their last four matches against Villa, scoring 11 goals on that winning run and conceding just one in return.

Team News

Chelsea’s leading goalscorer Tammy Abraham is still feeling pain in his hip and is a doubt to face Villa, who he excelled with on loan last season.

Ross Barkley will definitely miss the game because of illness.

Aston Villa

As for the visitors, although Villa may have suffered three Premier League defeats on the bounce last month and many around Villa Park fearing their side were being dragged into a relegation scrap, Dean Smith’s side appears to have bounced back. Snatching a 2-2 draw against Manchester United over the weekend and unlucky not to collect maximum points, the former Brentford boss also saw his side shine in their 2-0 win over Newcastle in the Midlands last month. Also securing an EFL Cup quarter-final showdown later in the month, Villa will know that a shock victory in midweek could see them break into the top half of the standings. One man to keep an eye out for on Wednesday will be captain and attacking talisman, Jack Grealish. Finding the net at Old Trafford over the weekend, the 24-year-old is reportedly attracting a string of interest from the Premier League elite and has now found the net in three of his last five top-flight appearances.

Team News

Aston Villa right-back Frederic Guilbert serves a one-match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards.

Anwar El Ghazi jarred his knee against Manchester United and has been ruled out, but Jota will be involved for the first time since hernia surgery.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Chelsea have failed to win any of their last three matches across all competitions.
  • The Blues have also recorded just a single clean sheet in their last eight matchups.
  • Villa have found the net in all bar one of their last 10 matches across all formats.
  • Jack Grealish has three goals in his last five Premier League appearances.
  • Four of Villa’s last five Premier League matches on the road have seen both teams find the net in 90 minutes.

Conclusion

While Chelsea should see Wednesday as a golden opportunity to make a return to winning ways, Frank Lampard will know that Villa will prove to be yet another tough test. With the former champions continuing to show some glaring issues at the back and Dean Smith’s side bagging a pair of goals in back-to-back appearances, we’re expecting a lively encounter at Stamford Bridge in midweek.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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