*Update* It’s increasingly likely that this fixture will not go ahead after the news that Hudson-Odoi now has the Corona Virus. It is expected that the Premier League will be suspending all football very soon.
The rest of the season is in doubt due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but Premier League games will be played for the foreseeable future. Chelsea will be keen to secure their position in the top four with a victory this weekend, in the fear that the current league table may be used to determine the European qualification for next season. They are three points clear of Manchester United with an inferior goal difference, therefore they could switch positions this weekend with certain results. They travel to Villa Park on Saturday to face relegation-threatened Aston Villa, who are similarly desperate for points.
Aston Villa are currently two points from safety with a game in hand against Sheffield United to be rearranged. Their fate remains in their own hands, but there will be growing concerns about the team. On Monday night, they were roundly beaten by Leicester City, who managed to score four times. Their goal difference of -22 leaves them vulnerable. The tightness of the league could lead to goal difference being needed to determine which team is relegated. If it does, Villa will be in real danger. Dean Smith has stated that every match is a cup final for his team and they will be determined to ease their relegation fears with a victory over Chelsea.
Chelsea are currently the frontrunners for Champions League qualification, which would represent an excellent first season in charge for Frank Lampard. The recent victories over Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton have renewed optimism around the club. Although the young players remain a big part of the project, the more experienced players have made significant contributions in recent weeks. Willian, Pedro and Marcos Alonso have all shown that they still have the ability to contribute at the highest level. It looks like the Blues should be set for a strong finish to the campaign.
Aston Villa have made 10 errors leading to goals. This is the most of any Premier League team.
Chelsea have had 21 goals scored by Englishmen in the Premier League this season. Only Leicester City and Southampton have had more.
The midfielder has been the standout individual for Aston Villa, as he has proven that he can thrive at the highest level. Regardless of the teams future, Grealish will be playing his football in the Premier League next season. There won’t be a shortage of suitors in the summer and interest could increase if he performs against Chelsea. He is averaging 2.1 shots, 2.7 key passes and 2.2 dribbles per game. His contribution stands at seven goals and six assists in the Premier League. The aim will be to keep Aston Villa in the league, but he will have one eye on ten goals and ten assist, as that would consolidate his position as one of the best midfielders in the division. Chelsea do have injuries to deal with and Grealish could dominate the midfield areas if given space.
The midfielder has had a resurgence in recent weeks, with improved performances for Chelsea. At the beginning of the season, he burst onto the scene and he looks set to be a starter for the Blues in years to come. This season, he has contributed six goals and four assists in the Premier League. That represents an excellent first season at this level, with his finish against Everton underlining his ability in the final third. During the match, he had two shots and completed five dribbles. However, most impressively, the midfielder completed 97% of his passes. This shows his composure on the ball and the confidence he currently has.
John McGinn is closing in on a return to action and could feature this weekend. Wesley and Tom Heaton will be missing for the rest of the campaign.
Jorginho will serve the second of his two-match ban. Mason Mount should be fit, despite suffering a knock against Everton. Christian Pulisic could return to the squad. N’Golo Kante is also in the running to return.
This is a difficult one to predict. Aston Villa are very poor at the back. If they don’t show improvement from Monday night, they could concede three or four this weekend. Chelsea haven’t been as effective away from home in recent weeks, with a poor performance away to Bournemouth. There should be goals in this one, with Chelsea the most likely winners.
Aston Villa 2-3 Chelsea