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Aston Villa v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Sunday 21st June 2020

Venue: Villa Park

Kick-off: 16:15 BST

This will be the most bizarre end to a Premier League campaign, and it’s probably one that shouldn’t be being played out in the circumstances but here we are anyway, facing Aston Villa away, complete with simulated ‘atmosphere’, even more simulated social distancing, and ‘protecting the NHS’ as distant a memory as Tottenham’s last win.  

Villa come into this game, having experienced the new set-up already, in a goalless draw against Sheffield United on Wednesday. This afternoon will be a new experience for us, but with the weekend’s fixtures having largely gone in our favour so far, Frank might kick the players even more than they’d kick themselves if they fail to take advantage today.

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Aston Villa manager, Dean Smith says “We’ll have an idea of their squad and the shape. As Chris Wilder said before our game (against Sheffield United), there aren’t too many surprises going to be thrown out.  We know each other’s squads because nothing’s changed within our squads. We’ll have a good idea of who we’re going to be facing.”

Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, meanwhile says “We’ve trained really well and had some friendlies but nothing replicates the Premier League.  We have to go full throttle no matter what game it is in terms of giving it everything. It won’t be easy but we need to be focused and be at our best.

We are looking to see what the change will be and it has been strong in Germany, but we have to see what the future will be in the Premier League.  We are going to have to use all the squad, but it’s like tournament football.”

SQUAD NEWS

For Aston Villa, Bjorn Engels (Achilles), Wesley and Tom Heaton (both knee) are out. Danny Drinkwater is ineligible to face us. Frederic Guilbert (knee) has returned to training and could be involved, whilst John McGinn will be assessed before the game.

For Chelsea, Fiikayo Tomori (muscle) faces 10 days out after an injury in training and Callum Hudson-Odoi is not fit enough to be involved. Jorginho meanwhile, misses out with a two-match ban that wasn’t forgotten about in lockdown.  Ruben Loftus-Cheek is available for the first time since rupturing his Achilles 13 months ago.

TEAMS

ASTON VILLA (Possible line-up): Nyland; Konsa, Hause, Mings, Targett; Hourihane, Luiz, Nakamba; El Ghazi, Samatta, Grealish

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Alonso; Kante; Gilmour; Kovacic; Loftus-Cheek, Abraham; Willian

LAST SEASON

N/A

CURRENT FORM (PL)

ASTON VILLA: WLLLLD

CHELSEA: DDLWDW

OTHER STUFF

  • This is the 50th Premier League fixture between the clubs. Chelsea lead by 25 wins to Villa’s 12, with 12 draws.
  • Aston Villa have lost nine of the past 10 league meetings, winning the other at home in March 2014.
  • Chelsea’s current five-match winning league streak against Villa is their best in this fixture.
  • Villa have taken just two points from their last 21 games against the established top-six Premier League sides since April 2015.
  • Villa’s only win in the past eight league fixtures came at home to Watford in January.
  • Chelsea haven’t won any of their four Premier League away games in 2020 (D3, L1).
  • Chelsea haven’t won a Premier League game outside London since beating Watford in November.
  • Chelsea have conceded 39 league goals so far in the current campaign.

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Aston Villa 0-2 Chelsea

Sky Sports: Aston Villa 1-3 Chelsea

Sportsmole: Aston Villa 1-3 Chelsea

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