Aston Villa v Chelsea: match preview | Aston Villa


Steven Gerrard has won five out of six since taking the reins at Aston Villa and his rejuvenated side will guarantee a stern examination of Chelsea’s wobbly form. Thomas Tuchel knows all about the new manager bounce – delivering a Champions League within months of his appointment is hard to beat there – but the magic has faded. The N’Golo Kanté-shaped hole in Chelsea’s midfield looks set to be filled, though: he came off the bench in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over Brentford, so Kanté v John McGinn looks could be a key battle. Tuchel knows keeping the France international fit is crucial if Chelsea are to maintain a credible Premier League challenge. Luke McLaughlin

Boxing Day 5.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

Venue Villa Park

Last season Aston Villa 2 Chelsea 1

Odds H 9-2 A 4-6 D 5-2

Referee Martin Atkinson

This season G11 Y27 R2 2.82 cards/game

ASTON VILLA

Subs from Steer, Sinisalo, Tuanzebe, Davis, El Ghazi, Sanson, Trézéguet, Ings, Hause, Philogene-Bidace, Chukwuemeka, Archer

Doubtful Davis (unknown), El Ghazi (unknown), Sanson (unknown)

Injured Nakamba (knee, Mar), Bailey (thigh, unknown), Traoré (thigh, unknown)

Suspended None

Form WWLWLW

Discipline Y35 R1

Leading scorer Watkins 4

CHELSEA

Subs from Arrizabalaga, Bettinelli, Christensen, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek, Lukaku, Werner, Ziyech, Saúl, Barkley, Sarr, Baker

Doubtful Christensen (knock), Havertz (Covid), Hudson-Odoi (Covid), Loftus-Cheek (ankle), Lukaku (Covid), Werner (Covid), Ziyech (calf)

Injured Chilwell (knee, 15 Jan)

Suspended None

Form DWLWDD

Discipline Y29 R1

Leading scorer Mount 7



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