Aston Villa v Chelsea Sat 15:00
Many wouldn’t have predicted that Alex McCleish’s Aston Villa could find themselves in a battle against the drop at this stage in the season but that could become a very real threat after this weekend if the Birmingham side fail to get a result against Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea, as Bet65 offer odds against on the home side to take the three points.
The Villans have won just one of their last eight fixtures, losing four and drawing the other three leading them to having one of the worst forms going into this weekend’s fixture.
To add more misery to their chances, Villa have looked almost as bad at home this season as they have done away, scoring a lowly average of just 1.07 goals per game at Villa Park on average.
Chelsea are in a different vein of form across all competitions but are still struggling to put performances together in terms of league competition.
The Blues increased their chances of making it into this season’s Champions League semi-finals when they ran out as 2-0 victors in the away leg of their tie against Benfica on Tuesday.
Roberto Di Matteo’s side also find themselves in the FA Cup semi-final where they will meet Tottenham, so while the Premier League campaign may not have gone to plan, there are certainly great positives to take from the season.
That being said, Chelsea still have the eighth worst form in the English top flight, winning just two of their last six outings.
Given Villa’s poor attack, the West London outfit wouldn’t seem likely to concede as far as statistics are concerned as when it comes to performing away from home, Chelsea have the second best away defence in the league.
Villa will still be missing Darren Bent this weekend, who is likely to miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
Richard Dunne and Charles N’Zogbia will also be unavailable through injury but it will be a minor boost to McCleish that Ciaran Clark may return to the Chelsea line-up.
Things are looking considerably brighter for Di Matteo as the Italian could welcome Branislav Ivanovic back into the fold after the defender took a knock in the defeat to Manchester City.
A win is vital for Chelsea if they are to gain a Champions League place but with Blackburn just five points off their pace, Aston Villa will be desperate to grab all three points also.