Premier League: Chelsea v Aston Villa match preview

A
look ahead to Sunday’s Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge

Not many would have said this a couple of months back but Paul Lambert’s exciting young Aston Villa side will be another test of Rafa Benitez’s credentials as Chelsea’s interim manager.

After returning from Tokyo without the World Club Championship, Chelsea gained retribution with a 5-1 mauling of Leeds in midweek to reach the Capital One Cup semi-finals and return to league action 13 points adrift of Manchester United, albeit with a game in hand.

Villa, meanwhile, are at last beginning to find their feet after a difficult opening to the season and last weekend’s magnificent 3-1 victory at Anfield typified their new found belief.

The last time they achieved such a scoreline came in August 2009, when Martin O’Neill’s side were challenging for Champions League honours.

Villa will be motivated by their recent record at Stamford Bridge, which has seen them defeated just twice in their last five visits.

 

KICK-OFF: Sunday 4pm

 

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Aston Villa 2 (Collins, Lichaj) Chelsea 4 (Sturridge, Ivanovic 2, Torres), Premier League, March 2012

Chelsea 1 (Drogba) Aston Villa 3 (Ireland, Petrov, Bent), Premier League, December 2011

Chelsea 3 (Lampard, Drogba, Terry) Aston Villa 3 (Young, Heskey, Clark), Premier League, January 2011

 

STATS…

Rafa Benitez has suffered just one defeat in 12 meetings with Aston Villa as a Premier League boss (W7 D4).

Aston Villa’s biggest ever Premier League defeat came at Stamford Bridge in 2010 – a 7-1 thrashing.

73% of Aston Villa’s Premier League goals this season (11 of 15) have come from strikers; a higher proportion of any other side.

No player has assisted more goals in the top five European leagues since the start of last season than Eden Hazard (22).

 

ODDS…

Chelsea to win: 1.36

Aston Villa to win: 10.5

Draw: 5.6

 

CLASSIC MATCH

Aston Villa’s last visit to Stamford Bridge ended in a surprise comeback victory, heaping the pressure on then manager Andre Villas-Boas in what was undoubtedly the highlight of Alex McLeish’s one year stint in charge.

Stephen Ireland was the architect of Villa’s triumph, scoring one and making another after Didier Drogba had opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

Ireland equalised five minutes later and McLeish’s side took the lead on 83 minutes when Stilyan Petrov calmed slotted through the legs of Petr Cech.

And Villa confirmed the victory in the final moments of normal time when Frank Lampard’s mistake let in Ireland who unselfishly squared for Darren Bent to seal the win.

 

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 4pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.25pm on MOTD2

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor