Team news, statistics and predictions ahead of Aston Villa-Chelsea in the Premier League on Boxing Day; kick-off 17:30.
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard hopes to have enough players available for the home game against Chelsea to move forward.
Villa’s scheduled game against Burnley last Saturday was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the Midlands club.
Keinan Davis, Marvelous Nakamba, Morgan Sanson, Anwar El Ghazi, Bertrand Traore and Leon Bailey were all sidelined with a variety of problems, but Gerrard confirmed that “a couple” of players were back in contention.
Chelsea the duo Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi can return for the guests.
The two forwards were two of eight Blues players affected by Covid-19 but have now recorded negative tests and are back in training.
Defender Andreas Christensen is also in contention after a back injury.
How to follow
Live Renault Super Sunday
Sunday 26 December at 17:00
Aston Villa vs Chelsea is live Sky Sport Premier League from 17:00; kick-off 17:30. Sky Sports Customers can watch game clips in the match blog live on Sky Sports website and app. The highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sport Soccer YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
The last time…
Jones Knows Prediction
Chelsea were three points clear of Liverpool and four points over Manchester City after 12 Premier League games in late November.
Now they are followed by leaders City by six points and Liverpool by three.
The West Londoners have gone from 15/8 shots for the title to 12/1 with Sky Bet. Such is the relentless pace of the top two, you simply can’t afford to win just three out of eight games like Chelsea did. In the blink of an eye, the title probably got out of hand. I am happy to support Villa in obtaining a result in this too.
Thomas Tuchel has had a hard time stopping Villa in their three fights since taking the lead, winning only one of three games, including a defeat on the final matchday of last season. Tuchel’s team is usually very difficult to create against chances, but Villa have shot a whopping 34 shots in those three games, which gives me confidence to go look for a bet in the Villa’s players’ shooting market.
My lucky pin fell on Matty Cash to record a very attractive 10/11 shot with Sky Bet. Steven Gerrard has played a very tight midfield since taking the lead with the width provided by the full backs. In his six appearances under Gerrard, Cash fired six shots and had 20 touches in the opponent’s area, showing his freedom to join in the attacks.
SCORE FORECAST: 1-1
BET ANGLE: Matty Cash to have one or more shots (10/11 with Sky Bet)
- Aston Villa won this exact match 2-1 last season, their last win against Chelsea in April 2004.
- Chelsea won the first leg 3-0 earlier this season and are looking to complete the Premier League double against Aston Villa for the seventh time – only Manchester United (15) and Manchester City (8) they did it more often against the Villans in competition.
- This is the sixth time that Aston Villa and Chelsea have met in a league match on Boxing Day (fourth in the Premier League), with Chelsea remaining unbeaten in their five games so far (W3 P2). The last such game was in the 2007-08 season, a 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge.
- In the history of the Premier League, there have been 38 red cards in the matches played in Santo Stefano. 8% of these arrived in a single game: Aston Villa’s 4-4 at Chelsea in 2007-08, with the expulsion of Zat Knight for Villa and the red of Ricardo Carvalho and Ashley Cole for the Blues.
- Aston Villa have won their last three championship games on Boxing Day, the longest streak to date from a streak of five between 1908 and 1913.