thumbnail Hello,
Live

Premier League

  • 16 October 2010
  • • 17:30
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 40122
0
FT
0

Aston Villa - Chelsea Preview: Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba miss out as John Terry recovers from back injury to start

Aston Villa - Chelsea Preview: Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba miss out as John Terry recovers from back injury to start

TEAM NEWS

Aston Villa

The hosts have problems in attack as Emile Heskey remains doubtful after picking up calf and shin injuries against Tottenham, while Gabriel Agbonlahor is still recovering from groin surgery, so John Carew may start.

Gerard Houllier faces a selection dilemma in defence due to Carlos Cuellar’s form this season but looks likely to continue with James Collins alongside Richard Dunne.

Young duo Fabian Delph (knee) and Andreas Weimann (foot) remain long-term absentees.

Probable starting XI: Friedel; L Young, Collins, Dunne, Warnock; Albrighton, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Downing; A Young; Carew.

Chelsea

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed Frank Lampard (groin) and Didier Drogba (virus) will miss the trip to Villa Park, meaning Gael Kakuta will start in attack.

John Terry has been passed fit after picking up a back injury on international duty, so he will start alongside Branislav Ivanovic at centre-back.

Meanwhile, the Blues were struck another blow this week as summer signing Yossi Benayoun was ruled out until April with an Achilles injury.

Confirmed starting XI: Cech; Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Essien, Mikel, Ramires, Kakuta, Anelka, Malouda.

European battle alive and well

Aston Villa were expected to challenge for a place in the Europa League again this season following three successive sixth-placed finishes. Martin O’Neill’s departure - and a 6-0 hammering away at Newcastle United - threw into doubt whether they would be able to maintain their league position. However, they now lie eighth in the table and, with Everton and Liverpool both struggling this season, could be set for another European challenge.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have had one of the best starts ever to a Premier League season. Carlo Ancelotti’s men have won six out of their first seven games, scoring 23 goals and conceding just twice in the process. Even a defeat to Villa would still see the Blues top the table due to their four point lead over their nearest challengers, second-placed Manchester City.

Deja vu?

Chelsea arrived at Villa Park in mid-October last season after a blistering start in the Premier League, having lost only once and having just beat one of the ‘big four’, Liverpool, 2-0 at home. While the statistics are remarkably similar, few would expect the Blues to lose on this occasion.

Ancelotti’s side - one of the biggest, strongest, most physical teams in the top flight - were surprisingly undone by two set-pieces at Villa Park last season, losing 2-1 courtesy of goals from centre-backs James Collins and Richard Dunne. However, later in the campaign Chelsea were to get their revenge, battering Villa 7-0 at Stamford Bridge in the league and 3-0 at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final.

Think you can predict the week's results?
Test your knowledge at Soccer Millionaire for your chance to win £10,000,000!!

Follow the Premier League LIVE on Goal.com:
Commentaries, Stats, Player Ratings and much more,
Visit Goal.com Live Scores!

Players to watch

A. Young

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
With James Milner grabbing the headlines for Aston Villa last season, Ashley Young was overshadowed somewhat by the midfielder. However, he’s now stealing the show again and has even broken back into the England team.

The former Watford man has played in a different role this season, slotting in just behind the lone striker, but he still remains a threat and is seeing more of the ball in a central role, allowing him more opportunities to create for team-mates. With 36 assists in the Premier League over the last three seasons, Young will be one for Chelsea to look out for.

F. Malouda

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Malouda has been in sparkling form for Chelsea over the last couple of years. After a slow start to life in English football, his form really picked up under Guus Hiddink, and he has kicked on under the stewardship of Carlo Ancelotti.

The Frenchman, who has six goals to his name in the Premier League already this season, will undoubtedly be the man to look out for at Villa Park on Saturday.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Aston Villa

Chelsea

Wins
1
0
4
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa
Draw
Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea
75%

Top 3 Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
0 - 2
Chelsea FC CHE
Aston Villa FC AST
0 - 3
Chelsea FC CHE
Aston Villa FC AST
1 - 2
Chelsea FC CHE

Related

From the web