Making their return on Sunday afternoon, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea will be looking to move one step closer to another top-four finish when they make the trip to an empty Villa Park this weekend.
Last seen back in March when picking up a rampant 4-0 win over Everton in West London, the Blues were enjoying a stellar Premier League run prior to the enforced break after losing just one of their previous six appearances.
On the flip side, while Chelsea might be enjoying their own battle at the top of the table, Aston Villa could only muster an extremely controversial point against Sheffield United in midweek and are at the heart of a relegation scrap.
Collecting just a single point over their last five Premier League outings, Sunday’s hosts also hold a concerning record against the former top-flight champions.
With Chelsea landing a 2-1 win when the two sides met at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, the Londoners have won each of their last five consecutive meetings against Villa and a similar outcome this weekend can be found priced at 8/15 with Premier League.
Villa seeking a spark
Although Aston Villa may have managed to leave the Midlands with a point intact on their return to action on Wednesday, Dean Smith’s men had to thank a “technical fault’ from the goal-line technology.
While goalkeeper Orjan Nyland may have carried Oliver Norwood’s free-kick across the line, the strike was not awarded, a decision that received a public apology from Hawkeye.
Now failing to win any of their last seven Premier League matchups either side of the break, there is no doubt that the former Brentford boss will be desperate for his side to find a much-needed clinical edge.
Along with entering March’s break with a 4-0 drumming away at the King Power, Sunday’s hosts have now failed to record a single strike in any of their last three top-flight outings, their worst attacking run since making their Premier League return last summer.
Still searching for an out and out number nine to step up and lead their charge out of the bottom-three, you might be interested to know that Villa can be found priced at 6/4 with Betfair to drawn another blank on home soil this weekend.
Chelsea’s away day issues
Although Chelsea may have all but seen their Champions League dreams go up in smoke thanks to a 3-0 drumming against Bayern Munich back in March, Frank Lampard’s youngsters did enter the enforced break in some style.
Still sat in pole position to land another top-four finish in his maiden year in the Stamford Bridge dugout, Sunday’s guests were last seen landing a stunning 4-0 romp against Everton in West London.
Although the Blues might also have an FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester on the horizon, the former England midfielder will be calling on his side to make some much-needed alterations on the road.
Eventually having to come from behind to snatch a late point at relegation scrappers Bournemouth in their last away contest, Chelsea have failed to win any of their last four Premier League matches outside of the capital.
Playing out a stalemate in three of those four outings, a run that also saw them throw away the lead at Brighton, the Blues can be found priced at 10/3 with Coral to settle for another point on the road this weekend.