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Premier League

  • 15 March 2014
  • • 17:30
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 40084
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Ladbrokes PaddyPower WilliamHill Tipico
Aston Villa 7.00 6.00 7.00 7.00
Draw 4.00 4.00 3.75 4.20
Chelsea 1.53 1.57 1.55 1.50
Aston Villa - Chelsea Preview: Mourinho's men aim to keep goals flowing at Villa Park

Aston Villa - Chelsea Preview: Mourinho's men aim to keep goals flowing at Villa Park

The Premier League table-toppers have history on their side as they take on Paul Lambert's men, with the Blues netting 30 goals in their last nine encounters against the Villans

Chelsea's much-criticised strikeforce may be licking their lips ahead of a Premier League visit to Aston Villa on Saturday.

A lot has been made of the Blues' lack of a genuine goalscorer this season, particularly by manager Jose Mourinho himself - but his team have still been able to open up a seven-point lead at the top of the table.

Andre Schurrle bagged a hat-trick in a 3-1 win at Fulham earlier this month, while strikers Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o were among those on target in a convincing 4-0 triumph over Tottenham on Saturday.

CHELSEA LATEST
8/15 Chelsea are 8/15 with Paddy Power to beat Aston Villa on Saturday
History suggests another big day could be on the cards for Chelsea's attackers, with the Blues having scored 30 goals in their last nine encounters against Villa in all competitions.

They embarrassed Villa 8-0 at Stamford Bridge in December 2012 and Frank Lampard scored four in a 7-1 drubbing at the same ground in March 2010.

Despite Chelsea's healthy lead at the summit of the Premier League, goalkeeper Petr Cech insists the squad are not getting carried away.

"We are going game by game, we keep saying that," Cech told the club's official website.

"There's plenty of football to be played but we are in the position where we would like to finish the season. We are in a good position."

Cech - a key figure in all three of Chelsea's previous title successes in the Premier League era - has enjoyed a fine season to date. Chelsea have conceded just 22 goals in 29 matches, a league low.

Mourinho's men - who are unbeaten in 14 league fixtures - recorded a 2-1 triumph over Villa earlier this season, thanks to Branislav Ivanovic's second-half winner.

Paul Lambert's side will enter the game fresher, having not played in just under a fortnight after last week's trip to Manchester City was postponed due to the latter's involvement in the FA Cup.

Villa ended a four-match winless streak with a 4-1 home success against Norwich City in their previous fixture, Christian Benteke scoring twice.

The Midlands club occupy 11th position but Lambert will still be wary of being dragged into a relegation dogfight, with Cardiff City, who sit 18th, only six points behind.

Ryan Bertrand is ineligible for Villa under the terms of his loan deal from Chelsea, and the hosts will also be without long-term absentees Libor Kozak (broken leg), Charles N'Zogbia (Achilles) and Jores Okore (knee).

Ashley Cole is set to return for Chelsea after missing the Spurs win with a knee injury but Fernando Torres (muscle injury) and David Luiz (groin) are doubtful.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Returns: Aston Villa £70.00 WilliamHill William Hill: £25 in free bets
Returns: Draw £40.00 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Returns: Chelsea £15.70 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Team News
Available Squads
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
2Nathan BakerDefender
29Joseph BennettDefender
4Ron VlaarDefender
7Leandro BacunaMidfielder
8Karim El AhmadiMidfielder
15Ashley WestwoodMidfielder
16Fabian DelphMidfielder
10Andreas WeimannStriker
11Gabriel AgbonlahorStriker
20C. BentekeStriker
31Jed SteerGoalkeeper
6Ciaran ClarkDefender
34Matthew LowtonDefender
12Marc AlbrightonMidfielder
33Yacouba SyllaMidfielder
9Grant HoltStriker
-Callum RobinsonMidfielder
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
24Gary CahillDefender
26John TerryDefender
28César AzpilicuetaDefender
7RamiresMidfielder
11OscarMidfielder
17Eden HazardMidfielder
21Nemanja MatićMidfielder
22WillianMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
23Mark SchwarzerGoalkeeper
2Tomas KalasDefender
8Frank LampardMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
15Mohamed SalahMidfielder
14Andre SchürrleStriker
9Demba BaStriker

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