Chelsea are back in Premier League action this Sunday as they travel to Villa Park to take on Aston Villa in what is their 30th league game of the season.
The hosts fresh from a draw with Sheffield United in their last outing have a relegation fight in their hands and will be looking to take all three points here. Seating in 19th position with 26 points, Dean Smith’s boys will know that any positive outcome here will go a long way in boosting their morale heading into the season’s ending.
Chelsea meanwhile head into this game with the fight for a top-four finish in their hands. They currently sit in 4th position and are three points above Man United, who play Tottenham on Saturday. Frank Lampard’s quest for Champions League football next season will have to begin right in this game if he hopes to end his first season as Chelsea coach on a high note.
Dean Smith will be without tom Heaton and striker Wesley Moraes for this tie.
N’Golo Kante is back in training for Chelsea while the break has given Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic time to recover, so Frank Lampard has a healthy squad to choose from.
Head to head
Chelsea have won the last five meetings between both sides, with a goal ratio of 13:2. In those five games, the blues kept three clean sheets, with four out of the five featuring over 3.5 goals.
Aston Villa last five competitive games: DLLLL
Chelsea last five competitive games: WWDLW
Aston Villa’s last match brought an end to a four-game losing run in the PL, and also brought their first clean sheet in the league this year with their last coming on boxing day last year.
The “Clarets and Blue” club remains the league’s worst defense having shipped in 56 goals this season. They also remain one of the league’s lowest-scoring side, with only 34 goals in the league. Their most recent outing is the third consecutive match that they have failed to score.
The hosts weary towards the end of games conceding over 78.8% of their second-half goals in the last 30 minutes of games. On average, they concede 1.71 goals per home game with 24 goals conceded in 14 games.
Meanwhile, the hosts are a good value to score at home, with 85% of their home league games seeing them record a goal.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea meanwhile sit on fourth for the side with most goals scored in the league this season. However, with 39 goals against them, Frank Lampard has one of the worst defense for clubs in the top ten—only Arsenal and Burnley have conceded more (40).
They head into this game unbeaten in their last three league games (W2, D1). However, they won only once in their last five away games before the hiatus (D3, L1). Three of these five away games saw them head into the break goalless while they did lead at half time in the other two.
They will be looking to turn around this poor for and pick up their season’s opening form that saw them record five consecutive away wins.
The Blues are one of the best-performing sides away from home this season—with only Liverpool and Man City taking more points on their road travels. They have scored an average of 2.07 goals on their road trips this season. Also, about 58%% of their road trips have featured over 3.5 goals while both teams scored in 79% of their away games—11 out of 14.
Both teams to score/Yes @ 7/10
Chelsea to win @ 1/2
Chelsea to win both halves @ 11/8