Chelsea vs Aston Villa preview: Under pressure pair Jose Mourinho and Tim Sherwood face off for much-needed three points

A look ahead to the Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge

Kieran Richardson and Cesar Azpilicueta match up in last season's Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge
Kieran Richardson and Cesar Azpilicueta match up in last season's Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge

It’s a big game for…

Kurt Zouma: The defender could fill in for Branislav Ivanovic, who was injured on international duty, at right-back. Manager Jose Mourinho is unconvinced new signing Baba Rahman is ready for the Premier League yet, and is likely to opt for Zouma though he is naturally a centre-back.

Best stat…

37

Eight points from eight matches; it’s 37 years since Chelsea started a league campaign this badly. Back in 1978/79, they picked up five points from their first eight and finished rock-bottom of Division 1, England’s top tier.

Remember when…

There was mayhem at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day 2007 as Chelsea and Villa, drawing 4-4, played out a Premier League classic. Two late twists made it interesting…

Player to watch…

Rudy Gestede: Villa’s new target man, who has been nominated for the African Player of the Year award, has scored his side’s last three goals and will be keen to capitalise on Chelsea’s shaky start. He has four already this season despite Villa’s poor start to the campaign.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League Preview

Past three-meetings…

Aston Villa 1 (Okore) Chelsea 2 (Hazard, Ivanovic)
Premier League, February 2015

Chelsea 3 (Oscar, Costa, Willian) Aston Villa 0
Premier League, September 2014

Aston Villa 1 (Delph) Chelsea 0
Premier League, March 2014

Form guide…

Chelsea: WWWDLL

Aston Villa: DLLWLL

Vital information…

Kick-off: 3:00pm, Saturday 17 October

TV: Highlights on Match of the Day from 10:30p

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