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Dec 26, 2021 at 5.30pm UK at Villa Park
Aston Villa
1 - 3
Chelsea
James (28' og.)
Martinez (33'), Mings (65'), Konsa (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Jorginho (34' pen., 90+3' pen.), Lukaku (56')
Alonso (70')

Preview: Aston Villa vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Aston Villa vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Chelsea, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Chelsea resume their hectic schedule with a Boxing Day fixture at Aston Villa, the Blues now sitting six points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Villa return to action sitting in 10th position, a consequence of recording 12 points from six matches since Steven Gerrard's arrival.


Match preview

Having been forced to play three games in less than a week with ongoing coronavirus issues, there can be some sympathy with the selection problems which have hindered Thomas Tuchel.

Nevertheless, the Blues have come through a period against Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brentford without suffering defeat, two draws in the Premier League being followed by a 2-0 triumph in the EFL Cup quarter-finals.

Now sitting well adrift of Man City, Tuchel cannot be satisfied with his team's recent form, but a change in government coronavirus rules should lead to more players returning this weekend.

The biggest plus from the last two games has been consecutive clean sheets, those shutouts being achieved after previously conceding 11 times in six contests.

Tuchel will hope that more goals from open play now follow, but Chelsea suffered a 2-1 defeat in this corresponding fixture last season as they just about held onto fourth spot in the Premier League on the final day.

Villa have experienced their own coronavirus outbreak, one which Gerrard has described as ongoing ahead of welcoming the European champions.

The cancellation of last weekend's game versus Burnley has given Villa's first-team squad a chance to recharge their batteries, but Gerrard will argue that some momentum could have been lost from the enforced break.

Beating Norwich City by a 2-0 scoreline represented Villa's fourth win in six under Gerrard, their two defeats coming at the hands of Man City and Liverpool.

Although Villa have lost nine of their 17 matches this season, they are within touching distance of the top eight, and Gerrard will feel that there is a window of opportunity to capitalise on the inconsistency of other clubs.

While Ollie Watkins has not hit the heights of last season, the England international has still contributed four goals from his last eight appearances.

Aston Villa Premier League form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Chelsea Premier League form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D

Chelsea form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Team News

Despite the prospect of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku returning to the squad after coronavirus, neither player is expected to be risked from the start.

With Chelsea now having more of their midfielders available, Mateo Kovacic could partner Jorginho in the centre, with N'Golo Kante playing in a more advanced role alongside Mason Mount.

While Trevoh Chalobah should feature in the back three, Hakim Ziyech is a doubt with a calf injury, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kai Havertz are likely to miss out due to coronavirus.

Gerrard has not disclosed which Villa players face missing this game for the same reasons, leaving it difficult to predict a starting lineup with any degree of certainty.

The only confirmed absentees are Marvelous Nakamba, Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore, all through injury.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey; Buendia, Watkins, Young

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudgier; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Kante, Mount; Pulisic


We say: Aston Villa 1-1 Chelsea

With so many uncertainties over squad selection, this is a difficult match to call. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore Villa's improvement under Gerrard and Chelsea's potential tiredness, leading to us predicting a low-scoring draw.



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City37286396247290
2Liverpool37278291256689
3Chelsea372011674324271
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs372151164402468
5Arsenal37213135647966
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd371610115756158
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham371681359481156
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves37156163740-351
9Leicester CityLeicester371310145858049
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton371115113943-448
11Brentford37137174754-746
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle371210154261-1946
13Crystal Palace371015124946345
14Aston Villa37136185051-145
15Southampton37913154263-2140
16Everton37116204261-1939
17Burnley37714163351-1835
18Leeds UnitedLeeds37811184078-3835
RWatford3765263375-4223
RNorwich CityNorwich3757252379-5622
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City37286396247290
2Liverpool37278291256689
3Chelsea372011674324271
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs372151164402468
5Arsenal37213135647966
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd371610115756158
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham371681359481156
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves37156163740-351
9Leicester CityLeicester371310145858049
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton371115113943-448
11Brentford37137174754-746
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle371210154261-1946
13Crystal Palace371015124946345
14Aston Villa37136185051-145
15Southampton37913154263-2140
16Everton37116204261-1939
17Burnley37714163351-1835
18Leeds UnitedLeeds37811184078-3835
RWatford3765263375-4223
RNorwich CityNorwich3757252379-5622
Scroll for more - Tap for full version


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