If all goes to plan, a turning point for Special One. The Portuguese manager’s Blues side will host Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as both the club’s managers will be desperate to hit back leaving behind the early trouble in the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho will be in the dugout hoping to hold on to the record of never been beaten in two consecutive home fixtures during his managerial stint in English football. Currently in 16th position, the defending champions haven’t been such a disastrous form in recent past. Actually they have not had a bad start like this for 37 years, during the 1978-79 season the blues picked up only 5 points in their first eight matches when they finished the then Division One at the bottom. Chelsea’s major problem being the defence, Mourinho might try some positional changes on Saturday. Much will depend on Kurt Zouma if he is positioned as right-back filling the gap left by injured Branislav Ivanovic.
Chelsea form guide –
Recent form – WLLWDL
Recent form (all competitions) – LWWDLL
Tim Sherwood steps into the clash with concerns looming large around Villa. The club currently is in 18th position with only four points as they have now lost four consecutive league games and their shocking display at home against Stoke City in the last match didn’t show any sign of a possible turnaround. The stats are also not with Villa fans. They haven’t managed to keep a league clean sheet at Stamford Bridge since March 1998 and have conceded 30 goals in their last 8 matches at Chelsea’s home ground.
Aston Villa form guide –
Recent form – LDLLLL
Recent form (all competitions) – DLLWLL
Chelsea – Mourinho will be without Ivanovic as the right-back is sidelined for a month with a hamstring injury. To replace him Cesar Azpilicueta could be shifted to right-back and summer signing Abdul Baba Rahman might be an option at left-back. The defender impressed Portuguese boss in the Champions League encounter against Tel Aviv. Zouma can also be used as right-back. Mourinho already confirmed that Ruben Loftus-Cheek will get a chance to prove himself against Villa. A good news is striker Diego Costa’s return in the attacking line after serving his three-match suspension.
Aston Villa – On the other hand, Sherwood once again can put his trust on Jack Grealish and midfielder Carles Gil as both players were second-half substitutes in Aston Villa’s 1-0 loss to Stoke in the last league match. But the bad news is the Sherwood would have to manage without the service of defenders Jores Okore (knee) and Ciaran Clark (hip) while the club is still assessing Adama Traore (ankle) and Gabriel Agbonlahor (calf) ahead of the much-anticipated encounter.
Chelsea: Begovic; Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Zouma; Matic, Fabregas; Hazard, Willian, Pedro; Costa.
Aston Villa: Guzan; Amavi, Lescott, Richards, Hutton; Gueye, Westwood, Veretout; Grealish, Gestede, Ayew.
Predictions – Chelsea to knuckle down and pick up a much-needed victory: 2-0.
Betting Odds – Chelsea won both the encounters with Aston Villa last season they are surely odds on for Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge.
Here are the betting odds-
Chelsea win @1.33
Aston Villa win @10.00