Chelsea vs. Aston Villa Preview

Barclays Premier League

Published: 07/01/2012

Chelsea will be hoping to complete a six point Christmas haul by the time Aston Villa come calling on New Year’s Eve and the hosts will be strong favourites to dispatch of Alex McLeish’s men.

The Blues come into this fixture on the back of a West London derby against Fulham – and providing they deliver the goods on Boxing Day, Andre Villas Boas’s team may be starting to play their way back into title contention.

Regardless of Villa’s lacklustre opening to the season however, the visitors must not be taken lightly considering the results of last season’s fixtures between the two clubs.

Indeed it was Villa who initiated a major contribution towards Chelsea’s demise by taking a point off them at the Bridge as well as at Villa Park.

Those results set Chelsea back some way in the title race and also gained Villa scant consolation for the 7-1 drubbing which Chelsea dealt out to them in the 2009/2010 campaign.

Nevertheless, Villa were a fairly positive outfit last year and undoubtedly possessed the quality to match any other Premier League outfit on their day.

Things have been a little different for the Midlands team this time around however and their negative approach is likely to play right into Chelsea’s hands.

There is no argument that this current Chelsea crop leaves something to be desired on a regular basis when looking back to Jose Mourinho’s tenure at the club. For a start, no longer are the Blues untouchable at home after the ‘Special One’ guided them on an unbeaten run at the Bridge which stretched for the best part of three years.

But the likes of Frank Lampard and Juan Mata simply eat up vulnerable teams and sides who set themselves up deep to contain and restrict their flow.

Didier Drogba could be on the verge of his last year with Chelsea as the club prepares to take in the New Year but the Ivorian’s presence and power in the final third still remains a threat and he can use his physicality and touch to open up the channels for players such as Mata and the vastly improving Daniel Sturridge.

Alex McLeish will be looking towards frontmen Gabby Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey to hold the play up and bring Villa’s talented youngsters into the game.

Barry Bannan and Marc Albrighton are useful, creative players who cannot be underestimated however it seems unlikely that they will see too much of the ball up against the aforementioned Lampard and Oriol Romeu.

Aston Villa have managed to scrap for five draws away from home this season but they will have to step their resistance up to a whole new level if they are to keep out Chelsea’s potent attack.

There is also a slight notion that once broken, Villa can go on to fold as their does not seem to be too much of a Plan B to their gameplay.

Chelsea can justify their pre-match odds of 1/4 but this is perhaps a match best left alone due to the lack of value on offer – but the -1 handicap should be covered at around evens.

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (07/01/2012) but are subject to change.

07/01/2012     © Frixo 2018

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