Premier League Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Aston Villa vs. Chelsea 

Venue: Villa Park – Saturday, April 2 – 12:45 BST (07:45 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 11/2 – Draw 3/1 – Chelsea 8/15

Match Preview

Aston Villa and Chelsea kickstart this weekend’s Premier League action at Villa Park in the early kickoff on Saturday, with Villa looking to end a run of six defeats on the bounce against the reigning champions.

The problems at the club seem irreparable this season and the sacking of manager Remi Garde on Tuesday may be the signifier that Villa are already preparing for life in the Championship next season, rather than prolonging the fight for survival. Eric Black will take temporary charge of the first-team for now.

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Sitting rock bottom on 16 points is no place for a club of Aston Villa’s stature but it seems they are condemned to the drop, despite still having a mathematical chance of escaping the bottom three.

They have lost six consecutive league games coming into this one and have failed to score a goal in their last three. Things don’t look set to improve anytime soon.

Chelsea are the in-form team in the top flight and have flourished under temporary boss Guus Hiddink, as they are unbeaten in their last 14 matches in the Premier league.

The Premier League is the sole competition the Blues are now involved in. The top four is not completely out of sight as they sit ten points off Manchester City in fourth with eight game to play.

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Since the sacking of Jose Mourinho, Chelsea have crept up the table and another string of positive results could see them challenge for the top four in the final few weeks.

The reverse fixture ended 2-0 to Chelsea back in October, while the Blues also won last year’s clash at Villa Park by a 2-1 scoreline.

Team News

Aston Villa are definitely without Libor Kozak (ankle) and Jordan Amavi (knee). Micah Richards (groin), Jack Grealish (ankle) and Adama Traore (foot) are all doubts.

Chelsea are without Eden Hazard (hip) and Kurt Zouma (knee) for the match. Diego Costa is suspended and won’t feature, while Kenedy is a doubt following a head injury picked up against West Ham last time out.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s last five: L/L/L/L/L

Chelsea’s last five: W/W/W/D/D

Key Stat: Chelsea have won seven of the last eight meeting with Villa in the Premier League.

Key Player: Willian – The Brazilian playmaker has been the best player by a stretch in this current Chelsea team and his form has yet to drop this season. We’re expecting a Chelsea onslaught and Willian will likely be influential.

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Score Prediction

Aston Villa 0-3 Chelsea – In many cases, a caretaker manager can inspire a result in his first game in charge, but this Aston Villa team is far from the required standard. We expect Chelsea to take an easy three points back to London on Saturday. The Villains are doomed and their survival hopes look to be dead and buried.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs Tottenham Hotspur

Competition: Premier League – Aston Villa vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: Villa Park – Sunday, March 13 – 16:00 GMT (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 13/2 – Draw 16/5 – Tottenham 4/9

Match Preview

Premier League strugglers Aston Villa welcome title chasing Tottenham Hotspur to Villa Park on Sunday afternoon in a game between two sides with very different aims.

Villa are on a four game losing streak coming into this one and have been leaking goals in recent games. They lost 4-0 to Manchester City last weekend despite being 0-0 at halftime and looked a depleted side.

Rémi Garde’s side sit bottom of the Premier League. They are nine points away from safety and although relegation is not yet confirmed they’re favourites for the drop.

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Tottenham come into this tie off the back of their 2-2 draw in the North London Derby last weekend – although it was a good point they will rue not taking all three from being in a winning position.

Spurs trail leaders Leicester City by five points but this title race is still wide open. As the season has proved any side is capable of taking points off of one-another so Mauricio Pochettino will be expecting nothing than maximum effort from his players here.

A top four finish is not yet guaranteed for Spurs despite how good of a season they have had. Even though they are pushing hard for their first title since the 1960/61 campaign they must still ensure they are keeping the distance between them and the sides below.

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Team News

Aston Villa have five injury concerns heading into this tie. Libor Kozak, Adama Traore, Jordan Amavi, Carlos Sanchez and Jack Grealish are all expected to be out.

Tottenham have just three injury concerns. Pochettino rested a number of his key players in their Europa League loss midweek but is still expecting to be without Clinton N’Jie and Jan Vertonghen, while Danny Rose is a doubt.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s last five: W/L/L/L/L

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/L/D

Key Stat: Aston Villa have conceded 15 goals in their last four games.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Tottenham goal-machine has netted 17 in the Premier League this season including that stunning effort against Arsenal last weekend, as always we expect him to be key and full of confidence.

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Score Prediction

Aston Villa 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur – Spurs should’t have too much trouble taking all three points here, as last weekend proved it’s a case of getting the first goal against Aston Villa. Hugo Lloris will be desperate to keep a clean sheet and Pochettino’s side have to keep applying the pressure to Leicester so if there is a slip up from the leaders they can capitalise and gain ground.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Ham United vs Aston Villa

Competition: Premier League – West Ham United vs. Aston Villa 

Venue: Upton Park – Tuesday, February 2 – 19:45 GMT (14:45 ET) 

Match Odds: West Ham 17/20 – Draw 5/2 – Aston Villa 100/30

Match Preview

West Ham United welcome Premier League strugglers Aston Villa to Upton Park on Tuesday night with the two sides battling for objectives at either end of the table.

The Hammers have been in solid form this season but have dropped off slightly over the last few weeks and are now without a league win in two.

They drew 2-2 with Manchester City in their last league game, and given their performance, they will probably be disappointed not to have taken all three points, though it was still a very respectable point.

West Ham have a number of players struggling with injuries heading into this game but will fancy their chance of coming away with all three points.

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Aston Villa still sit bottom of the league but they have picked up in the last few games and are now unbeaten in three.

They come into this one off the back of their 0-0 draw with West Brom and are steadily building on a recovery run.

Every game has to be looked upon with the hopes of picking up points if they are to avoid relegation, but it is still a massive ask.

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Team News

West Ham have seven injury concerns. Four are set to miss out; Andy Carroll, Carl Jenkinson, Manuel Lanzini and Diafra Sakho. Chekhou Koyate, Mark Noble and James Tomkins are all doubts for this tie.

Aston Villa could be without five as Jordan Amavi and Adama Traore are ruled out, while Rudy Gestede, Libor Kozak and Carlos Sanchez are doubts.

Key Points

West Ham’s last five: W/W/W/L/D

Aston Villa’s last five: L/L/W/D/D

Key Stat: Aston Villa have won just once in their last 22 games in the Premier League.

Key Player: Dimitri Payet – The West Ham playmaker is the obvious choice for key player. He can make things happen from anywhere. The Frenchman has bagged six goals in 16 appearances this term.

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Score Prediction

West Ham 2-0 Aston Villa – West Ham need to get back on track if they are to make European football this season. This is a game they will fancy themselves to win but know they cannot afford to relax heading into the tie.

STATS: Should Aston Villa fans be excited about new signing Jordan Amavi?

Much of the focus on Aston Villa this transfer window has been on outgoings as Fabian Delph has already joined Manchester City, with Christian Benteke expected to complete a £32.5 million move to Liverpool this week.

But while those two losses will undoubtedly worry Villa supporters, they have reason for optimism ahead of Tim Sherwood’s first full season in management.

Scott Sinclair has joined on a permanent deal, while Idrissa Gueye, Mark Bunn and Micah Richards have also arrived. But the most exciting addition to the Villa squad so far looks to be Jordan Amavi after the French left-back joined on a five-year contract from OGC Nice for a fee believed to be around £9 million.

Jordan Amavi Statistics Graph

Graph: Jordan Amavi’s statistics over the past two league campaigns with Nice

Amavi is only 21, but has already shown bundles of promise playing in Ligue 1 over the past two season and progressed enormously last season as he missed just two league games. Arsenal were linked with his signature before his move to Villa was confirmed, so he is clearly held in high esteem.

The France Under-21 international netted four goals and created 32 chances for teammates (via Squawka) in what was an impressive campaign that saw him ranked as the second best player in the division behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to WhoScored.

Left-back has been a position that several Villa managers have tried to fix over the past seven seasons since Wilfred Bouma suffered an ankle injury that ended his Villa career in July 2008.

Amavi will look to be the ideal man to occupy the role over the course of the 2015/16 season and beyond, with that five-year contract something Villains supporters will be excited about.

His age could be a concerning factor as he is still inexperienced, especially for a defender stepping into the Premier League for the first time, while he will also need to ensure he remains disciplined after he picked up the joint second-highest number of yellow cards in Ligue 1 last term with 11.

Aston Villa have a relatively easy start to the season with Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Leicester and West Brom in five of their opening six games, though Manchester United travel to Villa Park in the second week of the campaign in what will be a real test.

Will Jordan Amavi prove a hit at Aston Villa? 

Liverpool closing in on Premier League goal-machine

Liverpool are closing in on Aston Villa‘s Christian Benteke as the striker is looking to force his way out of the club, according to the Sun.

Benteke has netted 13 goals in 28 Premier League appearances, recapturing the form he showed when he first signed for Villa in 2012.

Brendan Rodgers is expected to enter the summer transfer market in search of a goal-scorer as Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli have been linked with moves away from the club. Daniel Sturridge is expected to miss the start of the season so Rodgers will see his options severely limited.

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Villa boss, Tim Sherwood, is desperate not to lose his star-man but Benteke is reportedly set to double his wages if he secures a move to Merseyside.

Benteke’s current deal is set to expire in 2017 so any potential club will have to pay around £30 million to secure his services.

Would Benteke be a good signing for Liverpool?