Chelsea vs Aston VillaEnglish Premier League, KO: 19:30 Dec 4, 2019, Stamford Bridge
CHELSEA will be aiming to get back to winning ways when they welcome Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Frank Lampard's men found themselves on the wrong end of shock 1-0 defeat at home to West Ham at the weekend – a result which means that Londoners have suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats for the first time under the Chelsea legends stewardship.
Indeed, the Blues young-guns have played with fluency and without fear this season, however, it will be intriguing to see how they respond to this wobble and whether or not they can get back on track against vibrant Aston Villa.
Dean Smith's side head south off the back of an impressive 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on an afternoon where the Villans once again demonstrated that they look well equipped to survive in the English top-flight this season.
The Claret and Blue have already given both Spurs and Arsenal a scare in the English capital and they will head to West London high in confidence after defeating Newcastle last Monday night before picking up a deserved point in Manchester on Sunday.
The Betting Odds
The bookmakers make the Blues big favourites to bounce back by bagging all three points with a home win priced at odds-on of 3/10 (BoyleSports)
The Betting Angles
The aforementioned price for a home success look slightly short to me given the attacking threat that adventurous Aston Villa carry, coupled with the fact that Chelsea have only chalked up one clean sheet in their last eight outings across all competitions.
What's more, Smiths troops have hit the back of the net in all but one of their last 11 matches – the only exception came at the Etihad – and the likes of Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Wesley are all more than capable of troubling Lampard's leaky defence.
With that in mind, I'm attracted to the 4/6 (William Hill) on offer for Villa to make the net bulge at Stamford Bridge – 10 of the 22 league goals that the Lions have racked thus far have come on the road.
Although there is much to be admired about seeing Villa attack with plenty of spirit, they are defensively vulnerable – the visitors have only registered one shut-out in their last eight attempts and they have conceded in all nine of the games that they have contested away from Villa Park this term.
Before Saturday Chelsea had scored in 14 consecutive matches and therefore a second successive failed attempt to score on home turf looks unlikely – even more so with Tammy Abraham in contention to return from injury to face the side that he helped fire back into the top-flight.
Whether or Abraham put his former teammates to the sword remains to be seen and although I wouldn't back against the Blues in this battle, I suspect Villa will make this a competitive and closely-fought contest in the capital
Therefore, I'm going to side with Villa with a 1.75 goal start on the asian handicap at 17/20 (UniBet) – a betting angle that would see you lose your full stake in the event that the away team lost by three or more goals – Villa have only been beaten by three + goals on one occasion following their promotion to the Premier League.
This English Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa will be played on Dec 4, 2019 and kick off at 19:30