Putting in arguably a season-best display against Everton over the weekend, a resurging Chelsea will look to widen their buffer in the top-four when they make the trip to a downbeat Villa Park on Saturday evening.
Picking up a thumping 4-0 win over the European outsiders at Stamford Bridge last week and also still brimming from their FA Cup victory over Liverpool, Frank Lampard’s youngsters appear to have turned a real corner and still hold a three-point buffer from slipping out of the Champions League spots.
On the flip side, while Chelsea might find the mood in their camp on the rise, Aston Villa are coming off the back of their own 4-0 hammering away at Leicester on Monday night and Dean Smith’s side are in the midst of a real crisis.
Opening the weekend sat two points adrift of safety and also watching Manchester City lift the League Cup title at Wembley a fortnight ago, the Premier League returners have lost their last five matches on the bounce across all competitions.
Hit with a 2-1 defeat when the two sides faced off earlier in the season, you might be interested to know that Chelsea have won each of their last five straight matches against Villa and a similar result on Saturday can be found at 7/10 with Coral.
Villa in freefall
Hit for four away at the King Power on Monday night and putting in another torrid Premier League display, Aston Villa find themselves in the midst of what has become another Midlands crisis.
Including their League Cup heartbreak against the soon to be former champions a fortnight ago, Dean Smith’s men have lost their last five matches across all formats and have failed to land a single league point out of a possible 12 over the past month.
Now sat two points adrift of safety, a huge part of Villa’s issues this season since making their top-flight return has come down to some rather glaring problems at the back.
Watching Leicester create a string of chances earlier in the week, Saturday’s hosts now hold the worst-defensive record in the Premier League and no side has allowed more shots at their goal than Smith’s men.
Without a clean sheet since Boxing Day and shipping at least a pair of goals in each of their previous five defeats, you might be interested to know that Villa can be found priced at 8/13 with William Hill to once again ship over 1.5 goals this weekend.
Chelsea on the rise
Putting in what was a rampant display in their thumping 4-0 win over Everton last weekend and watching 18-year-old sensation Billy Gilmore put in another Man of the Match display, the mood in Frank Lampard’s camp couldn’t be any higher.
Despite seeing their Champions League knockout ambitions go up in smoke against Bayern Munich last month, the former England midfielder has seen his side land back-to-back victories, including that 2-0 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup last week.
If Chelsea are to widen their buffer in the Champions League spots and extend on their stellar record at Villa Park, then Lampard could be calling on a resurging Olivier Giroud to lead their charge in the Midlands.
Doing an eye-catching job of filling Tammy Abraham’s void after appearing to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window, the Frenchman has found the net in two of his last three Premier League appearances and will likely lead the line once again this weekend.
You might be interested to know that the World Cup winner can be found priced at 7/5 with Betfair to extend on his tally at Villa Park on Saturday evening.