Graham Potter’s Chelsea will be looking to give their season a much-needed shot in the arm as they take on Aston Villa on Saturday evening at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have an array of injury doubts for the weekend – among them are Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Raheem Sterling, Edouard Mendy, Mason Mount, Cesar Azpilicueta and Kai Havertz. That’s not all – Thiago Silva will be out of action until mid-April, while Armando Broja continues to recover from his long-term injury.
As such, the Blues have something of an injury crisis on their hands for the weekend. It could give Potter a massive selection headache – on the other hand, it may give certain fringe players a chance to shine in the Chelsea first XI.
The last time the two teams met came back in October – in that game, Chelsea were victorious. The Villans dominated most of the play, but a brace from Mason Mount was enough to sink the Midlands outfit – it was their last game with Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard at the helm.
Chelsea are currently 10th in the Premier League table after a miserable campaign thus far. European qualification looks like a far cry – but it’s also not impossible, as just four points stand between the Blues and sixth place.
Aston Villa, meanwhile, are eleventh in the league, just one spot below Chelsea. They also have the same points tally as the Blues – 38. As such, the game on Saturday could be much closer than people may initially think.
The bookies certainly have Chelsea have the favourites. According to Oddschecker, Chelsea have accumulative odds of 7/10, while Villa are rated at 15/4.