CHELSEA vs Aston Villa: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Date: Saturday, 31 December

Kick-off: 1500 GMT

 

Around this time last year we met Aston Villa in a frustrating 3-3 draw that we really should have won but for a lapse in time added on.  Strangely enough, we weren’t on great form then either – lacklustre, lethargic, a bit dull and toothless in the first half of games, so it’s all a bit déjà vu lately.  Mind you, a late burst did see us finish the season respectably, so who knows what 2012 might bring. As for our final game of 2011 though, after 3 successive 1-1 draws, we’ll all be desperate for something other than just New Year to celebrate tonight!

 

MANAGERS’ VIEWS

Ahead of this afternoon’s game, after a difficult last few games, Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas says “Villa have slowly been making progress.  Alex (McLeish) has got Villa very well organised, they are one of the teams that shows great competence defending and also playing away from home, they have a lot of draws. They are compact and well organised. From what I have studied Alex has not changed a lot from game to game, they know each other’s roles and have good relationships. They can give us a difficult challenge. The emotions that happened last year in the 3-3 were amazing and hopefully we can be competent enough to get the three points.”

Villa boss Alex McLeish meanwhile, says “It’s a hard away game. Chelsea don’t lose too many at their place. But they are starting to lose a bit of ground in the league as opposed to Manchester United and Manchester City.  That will have hurt the Chelsea players and Villas-Boas and they will try to take that out on Villa to make sure they are still in the hunt.  But we have got to have something to say about that.

We have nothing to lose at the weekend. The players have got to throw the shackles off as they have done the last couple of games.  We played some really good football in the Arsenal game and, if they go out with that same kind of attitude and outstanding performance levels, we can surprise people.  We know that Chelsea will be favourites but sometimes the bookies don’t get it right.”

 

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, Essien (knee), Ivanovic and Mikel (both hamstring) all miss out, JT and Bosingwa have both shaken off knocks picked up against Fulham and Ramires returns from suspension.

For Villa, Heskey (Achilles) misses out although McLeish hopes to have Bent (thigh) available again and Hutton returns from his ban.

 

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA (from): Cech, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Romeu, Lampard, Ramires, McEachran, Mata, Malouda, Meireles, Torres, Drogba, Kalou, Sturridge, Lukaku, Turnbull.

VILLA (from): Guzan, Hutton, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Clark, Warnock, Herd, Delph, Bannan, Petrov, Ireland, Albrighton, Bent, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso, N’Zogbia, Weimann, Marshall, Johnson, Gardner.

 

 

LAST SEASON

Chelsea 3-3 Villa (2nd January 2011)

 

 

PREDICTION

So, off the back of 3 successive 1-1 draws what can we realistically expect at home to a side who are making a habit of taking a point away from home? Well, they haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since 2002 and they’ve now failed to score in 5 of their last 7 Premier League games this season, so there’s a bonus there but then again, in our last 4 meetings with Villa at Stamford Bridge there have been six penalties awarded, so any optimism might be premature. You wouldn’t bet against them taking another point would you?

3 Responses to “CHELSEA vs Aston Villa: Preview”

  1. A nervy one, McLeish teams are never easy to break down and seem happy to fight for a point, particularly you’d think visiting the Bridge. But this is simply a must win for Chelsea to keep on the heels of Spuss and within the top four and following three draws I think we’ll be right up for it. I want to finally see a bright start from our boys; I’m pleased that AVB has shown he’s adept and getting the talk and changes right at half time but too often this season, it’s taken far too long for us to get going; we seemed switched off for at least the first 10+ minutes, one example of the departure from Mourinho when we were deadly from the off.

  2. Chelsea wil win.

  3. Is it now time to own-up as a club that we have lost are way.
    Not only are we not entertany we are now longer a professional football club, we are more like a Sunday pub team in hackney marshes.
    The majority of the players don’t give a s**t for the club or the fans.
    The manager and the majority of his back-room team, have no understanding of the passion of the English game that when you fall down kicked, tripped you get up fighting f**k the money it’s the ball you want so you can score and win.
    That’s the passion we the supporter takes to, through & after the game.
    We