Aston Villa travels to Stamford Bridge in London on Wednesday August 21 to take on Chelsea in the day’s only English Premier League game. Villa is coming off of an impressive 3-1 road win in their season opening match at the emirates on Saturday while Chelsea were 2-0 winners at home against newly promoted Hull City on Sunday.
Belgian striker Christian Benteke scored twice for Villa on the weekend with newcomer Antony Luna chipping in with another. Frank Lampard and Oscar scored the Chelsea goals against Hull. It was Lampard’s ninth goal in a season-opening match, which ties him with Alan Shearer in that department.
Online bookmaker William Hill has the odds of a Chelsea win at 3/10 (1.30) with a Villa victory at 17/2 (9.50) and a draw at 9/2 (5.50).
Chelsea enjoys playing Villa at home and has scored at least one goal in their each of their meetings at Stamford Bridge over the past 15 years. In fact during their last visit to Chelsea, Villa allowed eight goals against and was completely outclassed by the West London club in an 8-0 humiliation. Of course, Rafael Benitez was in charge of the home team back then as the interim manager and he’s since been replaced by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho of Portugal.
Villa manager Paul Lambert made several new signings during the summer transfer window, but none of them are really regarded as star players. He also sent out striker Darren Bent on loan to Fulham. His best move of the summer was actually talking Benteke into staying with the Birmingham club after last year’s leading goal scorer with Villa had put in a transfer request.
Chelsea didn’t have much of a problem against Hull over the weekend, but should find Villa to be a little bit tougher to dispose of. This match was originally marked down in the schedule for August 31; however it was changed because Chelsea will be playing in the UEFA Super Cup as Europa League champions on August 30.
Even though Villa has allowed numerous goals against at Stamford Bridge over the last decade and a half, they’ve still managed to pick up some points there along the way. In their past four visits they have managed to earn a win, a draw and have lost the other two. When they were beaten though it was in embarrassing fashion as the losses were 8-0 as mentioned before and 7-1. The last time Villa didn’t allow a goal at Chelsea was way back in 1998.
Overall, the teams have each won 50 times against each other, so this could give Villa some added confidence. Villa will have some added motivation and will want to avenge the 8-0 loss last season and the win over Arsenal could be a confidence booster. But they need to remember they were awarded two penalties against the Gunners and Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny was sent off with a red card after 67 minutes.
Anything can happen on the football pitch this early in the season though, so nothing should really be classified as a surprise. Villa beat Chelsea just once when Mourinho was in charge of the club during his first stint in the Premier League and it came in his second-last match. The manager has a mainly healthy squad to choose from. Brazilian defender David Luiz didn’t dress for the game against Hull though
and Nathaniel Chalobah has a minor injury.
Lambert may have to do without the services of defender Nathan Baker as he suffered an ankle injury against Arsenal. In addition, Yacouba Sylla, Charles N’Zogbia and Chris Herd all sat out the Arsenal match with injuries and probably won’t be ready to play Chelsea.
Look for Chelsea to have a tougher match than their opener, but they should still take all three points here.