Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Sunday, 23 December
So, it was nice beating Leeds in the Capital One Cup midweek but now it’s back to the Premier League and Villa at home in today’s late game – fancy it? No, me neither really.
We might have had a decent record going against Villa at home once but that changed last time we met at the Bridge, and the recent upturn in their form brings little inspiration either. Whilst we’ve managed just one league win in eight, along with defeat in the Club World Cup and early Champions League exit, Villa come into this with back-to-back wins away at Norwich and Liverpool.
On top of all that, with nothing short of a war ahead of us for the rest of the season, we have a manager about as equipped to to do battle as George W Bush in his pj’s.
Ahead of this afternoon’s game, the FSW says…….nothing I’d be interested in writing about.
After our recent fixtures, Villa’s Paul Lambert meanwhile, says “I hope the travelling affects them – but I don’t think it will. They had a good result the other night against Leeds. The tiredness only comes in if you are not getting results, if you’re winning nobody bothers. In terms of Rafa, you look at his managerial career and it is phenomenal. He’s gone in there at a difficult time and tried to stabilise it and get results at the same time. You look at Chelsea’s squad, and the players they’ve got, and there are some world-class players in there.”
For Chelsea, John Terry (calf) remains out, Ryan Bertrand is a doubt and John Obi Mikel completes a three-game suspension. Liverpool-bound Sturridge is apparently nursing a hamstring injury but Gary Cahill and Ramires are both back after serving one-game bans against Leeds midweek.
For Villa, Darren Bent is definitely out, Ron Vlaar (calf) and Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh) are doubts but Stephen Ireland (illness) is available again.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole; Luiz, Lampard; Moses, Mata, Hazard; Torres
VILLA (Possible line-up): Guzan, Lichaj, Baker, Clark, Herd, Lowton; Holman, Bannan, Westwood; Weimann, Benteke
Chelsea 1-3 A Villa (31st December 2011)
We haven’t managed a win in our last four Premier League home games and the last goal we scored at home in the league came against Liverpool in November (JT). Villa’s Weimann and Benteke meanwhile…..oh come on, you don’t need me to predict this.