The following article refers to a previous Villa-Chelsea game. For the latest matchup between Aston Villa and Chelsea, click here.
Aston Villa v Chelsea
Saturday 21 February 2009,
Aston Villa won 2-0 against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in their last league outing, making a run of thirteen games unbeaten since their last league defeat (2-1 against Middlesbrough at Villa Park).
Villa have won nine (including a club record seven consecutive wins away from home) and drawn four of their thirteen game streak; taking 31 points from a possible 39. The Villains have scored 20 goals whilst conceding 8 during those thirteen games on their way up to third in the league.
Aston Villa will have to do without injured trio Carlos Cuellar (hamstring), Nigel Reo-Coker (hamstring) and Martin Laursen (knee), while Emile Heskey (ankle) is a doubt.
Chelsea drew 0-0 with Hull City at Stamford Bridge in their last league game, ending a run of three successive wins at home.
In their last five matches, Chelsea have won two, drawn one, and lost two, earning themselves 7 points from the 15 on offer. The Blues have scored 4 goals and conceded 6 in these matches, slipping down to fourth in the league
Chelsea have moved quickly to appoint Dutch manager Guus Hiddink as manager until the end of the season, following the sacking of former manager Phil Scolari.
The Blues will have to do without Joe Cole (knee), Micheal Essien (knee) and Ricardo Carvalho (hamstring).
Aston Villa beat Chelsea 2-0 in this corresponding fixture last season, but lost 2-0 against them at Stamford Bridge earlier this season. Villa will have had less preparation for this match after their 1-1 UEFA Cup draw at home against Russian side CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, so that will give The Blues an advantage.
Chelsea’s appointment of Guus Hiddink could have a typically galvanising effect from new manager syndrome, and the Dutch manager has immediately signalled his determination by asserting that Chelsea can still win the title.
Aston Villa are currently in their best form and will go into this game full of confidence, and with the support of their home crowd should expect to do far better than earlier in the season. Meanwhile Chelsea will go into this match on their poorest form of the season, having gone four games since their last win away from home, a run which includes two draws and two successive defeats.
Despite Chelsea’s woes, they have two big players in Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard in good form, and with some inspiration from the new manager, they are likely to be much improved than recently to make an exciting and evenly contested match with the in-form Aston Villa.
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