Aston Villa v Chelsea

Aston Villa v Chelsea Preview

Villa are set to go toe to toe with Chelsea on Saturday where they not only look to boost their chances of a Champions League spot, but also to complete the domestic double over the Blues.

Unai Emery’s Aston Villa are set to welcome Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea to Villa Park in what is set to be a vital and potentially pivotal game in the Premier League as the Villans continue to battle with Tottenham for the fourth and final UEFA Champions League Qualification spot.

As it stands, the Villa are very much in the driving seat with the West Midlands club currently finding themselves in fourth place with no less than 66 points having been accumulated from their 34 matches this season in the English top flight. They currently have a 6 point cushion on fellow Champions League contenders Spurs, albeit the North London outfit currently have two games in hand to their name as of the time of writing.

Aston Villa have been playing beyond all expectations from before the 2023/24 season got underway. And, not only do they find themselves in the top four at the time of writing, but following Newcastle United’s defeat at Crystal Palace, they cannot finish any lower than 7th. This means that the Villans have already secured European football for next season (2024/25) with four games still left to play.

So, a win for the Villa would see them stretch the gap between them and Spurs to no less than 9 points should the Lilywhites lose a day later. The gap could also be 8 if Tottenham draw and Villa win.

Moving on to Chelsea, they are sat in 9th place at the time of writing with 47 points currently to their name from their 32 matches to date. Pochettino’s Blues can still finish as high as 5th, which would of course see them qualify for the UEFA Europa League.

Qualification for European football is still very much in reach for Chelsea, and if they win in B6, the three points that they would collect as a result would lift them up to 7th if results go their way. A finish in this position would see them secure a place in the 2024/25 UEFA Europa Conference League.

Aston Villa’s most recent result in the league came last weekend at Villa Park, and it was a game that saw Unai Emery’s Villans come from behind to win comfortably 3 – 1 in B6. Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth took the lead through a penalty from Dominic Solanke with just over half an hour having elapsed in the contest (31’). Morgan Rogers restored parity for the home side with a great and powerful close range finish in first half stoppage time (45+1’).

Moussa Diaby gave Villa the lead, completing the turnaround in the very early stages of the second half (57’). This handed momentum to the home team who went on to dominate the second half, scoring a third goal to take the game out of Bournemouth’s hands with barely more than 10 minutes to go in the game (78’).

As for Chelsea, it was a 5 – 0 defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium for them in their most recent game in all competitions. Their game before this though saw Mauricio Pochettino’s team beat relegation threatened Everton 6 – 0 thanks to goals from Cole Palmer (13’, 18’, 29’, 64’ – Penalty), Nicolas Jackson (44’) and Alfie Gilchrist (90’).

In all competitions, Aston Villa and Chelsea last met in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. The two teams drew 0 – 0 at Stamford Bridge, and in the replay, goals from Conor Gallagher (11’), Nicolas Jackson (21’) and Enzo Fernandez (54’) sealed a 3 – 1 win at Villa Park, with the consolation goal for Villa coming from Moussa Diaby in second half stoppage time (90+3’).

We now rewind back to 24th September 2023, which saw Aston Villa secure a 1 – 0 Premier League win at Stamford Bridge. The visiting Villans got their goal against the Blues that day thanks to their leading goal scorer Ollie Watkins just after the half way point of the second half (73’).

These two clubs first met in a competitive fixture in a league match on 28th December 1907 which was a 0 – 0 draw at Villa Park. Overall, Aston Villa and Chelsea have gone toe to toe a total of 165 times and it is the Blues who have more wins with 69 compared to Villa on 60. There have been 36 draws between them.

Excitement and anticipation are growing amongst fans with this being a crucial game for both Aston Villa and Chelsea as the two clubs look to end their respective 2023/24 seasons on a high with the season ending in a matter of weeks.

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