MX23RW : Friday, December 13 15:57:31| >> :600:154414:154414:
Dec 4, 2019 at 7.30pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 40,628
Aston Villa
Abraham (24'), Mount (48')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Trezeguet (41')

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

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Wednesday's Premier League fixture between Chelsea and Aston Villa.

Chelsea face Aston Villa in the Premier League on Wednesday night looking to end a run of three matches without a win in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Villa travel to Stamford Bridge having recorded four points from their last two fixtures against Newcastle United and Manchester United.


Chelsea manager Frank Lampard pictured on November 2, 2019© Reuters

While there remains plenty of positivity and optimism at Chelsea heading into December, Frank Lampard is aware that will soon change if his side cannot get back to winning ways.

Despite there being a feeling of respectability after a narrow 2-1 defeat to Manchester City and a 2-2 draw in Valencia, losing at home to West Ham United at the weekend has put the Blues onto the back foot.

Lampard cited the effort required to earn a share of the spoils at the Mestalla as a potential reason for the below-par display, although the club legend refused to use that as an excuse having expected far more from his players.

Chelsea still sit six points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, a margin which would have been snapped up with both hands had it been offered before the start of the season, but there is a feeling that Chelsea need to get back on track ahead of their upcoming meeting with one of their fiercest rivals.

Villa, Everton and Bournemouth stand in their way before that showdown on December 22, and Lampard knows that his team can ill-afford more setbacks at this stage if they are to remain a constant fixture in the top four.

There is an argument that Chelsea may have over-performed during the early months under Lampard, with six successive victories being recorded in the Premier League before falling short against City and West Ham.

From Lampard's perspective, however, his young squad have already proven that they can perform to a high standard, and he will expect more of the same on a long-term basis.

The objective against Villa is simply to get another three points on the board, although Lampard will drill into his players that they owe their supporters a performance after misfiring against West Ham.

Recent form: WWWWLL
Recent form (all competitions): WDWLDL

Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith on October 19, 2019© Reuters

Before the international break, Dean Smith had to live with the disappointment of witnessing his players come out second best to rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.

Smith was quick to acknowledge that their first-half performance was arguably their worst since gaining promotion from the Championship, while it also represented a third successive defeat in the top flight.

However, judging from their two performances against Newcastle and Man United, that setback and the period of reflection was exactly what Villa required to get their season back on track.

While Villa still sit just three points above the relegation zone, seeing off an in-form Magpies outfit and earning a share of the spoils at Old Trafford has provided the team with confidence ahead of the visit to Stamford Bridge.

Smith and his squad will also take belief from their showings against the other 'big six' sides, despite their spirited performances only leading to one point from a possible 15.

That should have arguably been made three on Sunday afternoon given how the match materialised in the North-West, although Smith will feel satisfied that another point was recorded in their bid to move away from the relegation zone.

Jack Grealish, who was absent from the defeats earlier in November, has played an influential role since his return to the team, with a goal and an assist coming from his last two outings.

However, Smith has called for more from the club's star man, and the playmaker will relish the opportunity to live up to expectations against a Chelsea side who continue to struggle in their defensive third.

Recent form: WLLLWD
Recent form (all competitions): LWLLWD

Team News

Chelsea's Tammy Abraham receives medical attention after sustaining an injury against Valencia on November 27, 2019© Reuters

Having failed to return to training before the start of the week, Tammy Abraham is unlikely to be risked against a club whom he represented on loan last season.

However, Lampard will likely hand recalls to Cesar Azpilicueta, N'Golo Kante and Willian, who began the game with West Ham on the bench.

Antonio Rudiger and Ross Barkley are each close to making a return, although neither will feature in the starting lineup on Wednesday night.

Smith will make at least one change to his Villa XI due to Frederic Guilbert having to serve a one-match ban for five yellow cards.

Anwar El Ghazi is also struggling with injury, meaning that Ahmed Elmohamady and Trezeguet could be brought into the starting lineup.

Marvelous Nakamba is also in line to take the place of either Douglas Luiz or Conor Hourihane in midfield.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Palmieri; Jorginho, Kante; Willian, Mount, Pulisic; Batshuayi

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Heaton; Elmohamady; Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Nakamba, Hourihane; Trezeguet, Grealish, Wesley

Head To Head

Wednesday's match will represent the 153rd competitive encounter between the clubs, with Chelsea registering 61 wins in comparison to 57 victories for Villa.

Despite the competitive historical record, the Blues have prevailed in eight of the last nine fixtures in all competitions.

The most recent contest took place in April 2016 when the West Londoners ran out 4-0 victors at Villa Park.

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We say: Chelsea 3-2 Aston Villa

While Chelsea require a positive response on Wednesday night, we cannot ignore their fragility at the back. There should be plenty of goals in this contest, but the Blues could edge this game in the closing stages.

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Who will win Wednesday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Aston Villa?

Aston Villa
Aston Villa
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Conor Hourihane celebrates scoring for Aston Villa on November 25, 2019
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2Leicester CityLeicester16122239102938
3Manchester CityMan City16102444192532
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd166642519624
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves165922319424
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs166553023723
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd165741916322
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11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle166461723-622
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton165472024-419
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham164481828-1016
17Aston Villa164392328-515
19Norwich CityNorwich1632111734-1711

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