Chelsea v Aston Villa : English Premier League Match, Team News, Goal Scorers and Stats

Published 1 week ago by: Olusanya Akinrinola
at 09:15 AM, 3/12/2019 (1 week ago)

(4151 | Gistmaniac) (m)


Date :Wednesday 4th, December
Time: 8:30pm
Stadium Stamford Bridge
Referee Christopher Kavanagh (England)
Goal Scorer:

Team News:

Chelsea
While there remains plenty of positivity and optimism at Chelsea heading into December, Frank Lampard is aware that will soon change if his side cannot get back to winning ways.

Despite there being a feeling of respectability after a narrow 2-1 defeat to Manchester City and a 2-2 draw in Valencia, losing at home to West Ham United at the weekend has put the Blues onto the back foot.

Lampard cited the effort required to earn a share of the spoils at The Mestalla as a potential reason for the below-par display, although the club legend refused to use that as an excuse having expected far more from his players.

Chelsea still sit six points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, a margin which would have been snapped up with both hands had it been offered before the start of the season, but there is a feeling that Chelsea need to get back on track ahead of their upcoming meeting with one of their fiercest rivals.

Villa, Everton and Bournemouth stand in their way before that showdown on December 22, and Lampard knows that his team can ill-afford more setbacks at this stage if they are to remain a constant fixture in the top four.

There is an argument that Chelsea may have over-performed during the early months under Lampard, with six successive victories being recorded in the Premier League before falling short against City and West Ham.

From Lampard's perspective, however, his young squad have already proven that they can perform to a high standard, and he will expect more of the same on a long-term basis.

The objective against Villa is simply to get another three points on the board, although Lampard will drill into his players that they owe their supporters a performance after misfiring against West Ham.
Having failed to return to training before the start of the week, Tammy Abraham is unlikely to be risked against a club who he represented on loan last season.

However, Lampard will likely hand recalls to each of Cesar Azpilicueta, N'Golo Kante and Willian, who began the game with West Ham on the bench.

Antonio Rudiger and Ross Barkley are each close to making a return, although neither will feature in the starting lineup on Wednesday night
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Palmieri; Jorginho, Kante; Willian, Mount, Pulisic; Batshuayi
Recent form: WWWWLL
Recent form (all competitions): WDWLDL

Aston Villa
Throughout the international break, Dean Smith had to live with the disappointment of witnessing his players come out second-best to rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.

Smith was quick to acknowledge that their first-half performance was arguably their worst since gaining promotion from the Championship, while it also represented a third successive defeat in the top flight.

However, judging from their two performances against Newcastle and Man United, that setback and the period of reflection was exactly what Villa required to get their season back on track.

While Villa still sit just three points above the relegation zone, seeing off an in-form Magpies outfit and earning a share of the spoils at Old Trafford has provided the team with confidence ahead of the visit to Stamford Bridge.

Smith and his squad will also take belief from their showings against the other 'big six' sides, despite their spirited performances only leading to one point from a possible 15.

That should have arguably been made three on Sunday afternoon given how the match materialised in the north-west, although Smith will feel satisfied that another point was recorded in their bid to move away from the relegation zone.

Jack Grealish, who was absent from the defeats earlier in November, has played an influential role since his return to the team, with a goal and an assist coming from his last two outings.

However, Smith has called for more from the club's star man, and the playmaker will relish the opportunity to live up to expectations against a Chelsea side who continue to struggle in their defensive third.
Smith will make at least one change to his Villa XI due to Frederic Guilbert having to serve a one-match ban for five yellow cards.

Anwar El Ghazi is also struggling with injury, meaning that Ahmed Elmohamady and Trezeguet could be brought into the starting lineup.

Marvelous Nakamba is also in line to take the place of either Douglas Luiz or Conor Hourihane in midfield.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Heaton; Elmohamady; Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Nakamba, Hourihane; Trezeguet, Grealish, Wesley
Recent form: WLLLWD
Recent form (all competitions): LWLLWD

Head To Head
Wednesday's match will represent the 153rd competitive encounter between the clubs, with Chelsea registering 61 wins in comparison to 57 victories for Villa.

Despite the competitive historical record, the Blues have prevailed in eight of the last nine fixtures in all competitions.

The most recent contest took place in April 2016 when the west Londoners ran out 4-0 victors at Villa Park.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-2 Aston Villa
While Chelsea require a positive response on Wednesday night, we cannot ignore their fragility at the back. There should be plenty of goals in this contest, but the Blues could edge this game in the closing stages.

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