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Aston Villa beat Chelsea 2-1 in a pulsating game at Villa Park today. Get all the goals and highlights from the game here.
Aston Villa Preview
Aston Villa welcome Chelsea to Villa Park on Saturday with the hopes of continuing cutting down the league leaders.
Martin O’Neill’s side have been relatively impressive in the first seven games of the season.
The recent 1-1 draw against Manchester City was a good indication that Aston Villa have the ability to mix it up with the best of them, but a level of consistency will need to be reached this season if the Villains are to realise their goals of qualifying for Europe.
Last season’s catastrophic second half has been answered by a strong start to the new campaign, and with young players like Gabriel Agbonlahor, Ashley Young, James Milner and Fabian Delph among others constantly maturing, there is reason to believe that Villa could potentially push for a top placing.
Still, a harmony must be found, and with Emile Heskey’s recent statements linking him with an exit, one has to question what the general feeling is in the Aston Villa dressing room.
Nevertheless, with the league leaders coming to town, O’Neill will be reassured to know he has nearly injury-free squad to choose from for this fixture.
Chelsea fell to their first defeat three weeks ago against Wigan to end Carlo Ancelotti’s run of perfection at the club, but the response to the loss will have impressed the Italian and everyone connected to Chelsea.
A week after losing 3-1 away to Wigan, Chelsea welcomed Liverpool to Stamford Bridge and got their title push on line again with a fine 2-0 victory over the Merseysiders.
Nicolas Anelka continued his good goal scoring record as he put Chelsea in front after an hour played. Florent Malouda, who came on as a substitute in the second half, capped off the victory in the 90th minute.
As expected, the match was quite even throughout, though Chelsea showed the cutting edge in front of goal that Liverpool lacked on the day.
Petr Cech will return to his duties in goal for this Chelsea vs Aston Villa match after serving a suspension for being sent off at Wigan. Alex and John Obi Mikel are questionable in what is otherwise a rather healthy Chelsea squad.
Aston Villa v Chelsea Prediction
Chelsea were successful in both Premier League meetings between the teams last season, with the fixture at Villa Park ending in a 1-0 Blues victory, whilst the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge saw Chelsea win 2-0.
On current form, the Blues have to be considered slight favourites ahead of Saturday’s game as well, but we should be set for a closely fought, quality encounter.
Prediction: Aston Villa 0 – Chelsea 1
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