Chelsea were 10 min and injury time away from sealing a top four spot for this season, but as it is, we may have to wait until the final whistle in the Aston Villa vs Chelsea match at Villa Park on Saturday.
After spending much of the season near the relegation zone, Villa are surprisingly capable of a top 10 finish as the season enters into the penultimate round. They sit 13th in the table just three points behind West Ham in the 10th place.
Much of this resurgence has been down to striker Christian Benteke, who is the man to watch in this match. Standing at 6 ft 3 in, this Belgian striker is quite a handful for any defender. He is the fourth highest goal scorer in the Premier league this season, which speaks volumes about his threat.
Aston Villa vs Chelsea 2012/2013 interesting statistics:
- Fernando Torres’ last league goal was against Aston Villa back in December 2012
- Chelsea’s last match against Villa finished as an 8-0 win for the blues
- There have been more than 2.5 goals in the last seven out of eight league games for Villa
He has scored 18 league goals already, and this is only his debut season at the club.
Benitez has already confirmed that Lampard will start against Villa, as he aims to reach Bobby Tambling’s record of 202 goals. Lampard is just one short of the record.
Benitez previews the Aston Villa match:
Benitez has reasons to be confident of securing a top four spot despite the 2-2 draw against Tottenham. A win for Chelsea on Saturday will almost guarantee a top four spot, while a repeat of the same next weekend could see us finish in the top three.
Only the top three teams qualify automatically for the Champions League group stages.
Hazard was extremely brilliant against Tottenham, but he is a doubt for the weekend due to the recurrence of the calf strain. Moses took a knock in that match and he is a slight doubt for the weekend.
Benitez will definitely have one eye on the Europa League final against Benfica on Thursday.
Predicted team line-up:
Aston Villa (4-3-3): Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett, Westwood, Delph, Sylla, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Weimann
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Luiz, Lampard, Oscar, Mata, Ramires, Ba
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