Manchester City are likely to have closed the gap on Chelsea by the time we kick-off against Aston Villa. Still, this match gives us a great opportunity to extend the lead on Liverpool and Arsenal, who do not play until Sunday. Even though there is a midweek Champions League match against Galatasaray, Jose Mourinho is unlikely to rest players for the trip to Villa Park.
This has been a bogey ground for us in recent years, but that record appears to be changing with three consecutive wins.It also holds special memories for Frank Lampard, who became Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer here last season.
Villa arrested a run of four matches without a win following a 4-1 win over Norwich last week. The match also saw the return of Christian Benteke to form with two goals. Terry and Cahill will have the work cut out against the big Belgian. Ryan Bertrand will be unavailable for Villa due to the terms of his loan deal, but they have enough strength in depth in this position.
Fernando Torres is most likely to be on the bench after recovering from his injury. His form in European matches means that he is likely to start against Galatasaray. David Luiz and Ashley Cole continue to remain on the sidelines. This is likely to force Mourinho to field the same backline. Matic will definitely start considering that he will be ineligible for the Champions League match.
Predicted Team Line-ups:
Mourinho’s Pre-Match Press Conference:
Aston Villa – L L D L W
Chelsea – L W D W W
May 2013: Villa 1-2 Chelsea
March 2012: Villa 2-4 Chelsea
July 2011: Villa 0-2 Chelsea
Aston Villa 0-1 Chelsea