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: Aston Villa vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Aston Villa vs. Manchester City

Venue: Villa Park – Sunday, November 8 – 13:30 GMT (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 13/2 – Draw 15/4 – Manchester City 2/5

Match Preview

Aston Villa take on Manchester City as the Premier League’s bottom side look to beat the leaders at Villa Park on Sunday afternoon in what will be Remi Garde’s first game in charge of the Villains.

Garde arrives at Villa needing to fix things very quickly. The club are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League after picking up just four points from 11 games so far and are seemingly heading for relegation.

The Frenchman is facing an uphill battle and the visit of Manchester City gives him about as tough a challenge as he could have had in his first outing.

Aston Villa’s Premier League record: P11 – W1 – D1 – L9

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Villa fell 3-1 to Tottenham on Monday night and have now lost seven games in a row in the top flight. They have never lost eight consecutive Premier League games.

City travel to Villa Park as overwhelming favourites to pick up a ninth win in 12 league games and will be in fine spirits following Tuesday night’s 3-1 Champions League win at Sevilla.

Manuel Pellegrini is still set to be without star attackers Sergio Aguero and David Silva but the Citizens are unbeaten in four and managed to edge past Norwich 2-1 last weekend thanks to a late Yaya Toure penalty.

Manchester City’s Premier League record: P11 – W8 – D1 – L2

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They know a win here will keep them at the top of the table heading into the upcoming international break and they are fully expected to seal three points.

City beat Villa 2-0 in the same fixture last season before then winning 3-2 at the Etihad in April. They have won seven of the last eight league meetings between the sides.

Team News

Remi Garde could have a fully fit squad to choose his first starting lineup from. Micah Richards returns following suspension, while only doubts hang over Ashley Westwood and Gabriel Agbonlahor who both came off at Tottenham on Monday. Many will be watching Garde’s first team selection with interest.

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is still set to be without Sergio Aguero, while fellow Argentine Pablo Zabaleta is also still injured. David Silva could return but is doubtful to be risked, while the same applies to Samir Nasri. Former Villain Fabian Delph is back but is unlikely to start against his former club.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s last five in the Premier League: L/L/L/L/L

Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: L/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Aston Villa have never lost eight consecutive Premier League games in a row. They would become just the fifth club in league history to lose at least eight in a row with defeat here.

Key Player: Vincent Kompany – Manchester City are a better side when their captain plays. They have conceded just one Premier League goal when the Belgian has started and will hope that record continues at Villa Park.

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Score Prediction

Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City – Tough to see Villa sealing a win in Remi Garde’s first game in charge. City will be too strong for the hosts but could be made to work for a win as the Villa players will be desperate to impress their new manager in a very tricky first game for the Frenchman.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs QPR

Competition: Premier League – Aston Villa vs. Queens Park Rangers

Venue: Villa Park – Tuesday, April 7th – 19:45 BST (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 11/10 – Draw 23/10 – QPR 5/2

Match Preview

Aston Villa take on QPR in a huge clash at the bottom of the Premier League on Tuesday night, with just three points separating the sides.

With just seven games to go this season, now is the time to start winning matches if you are to retain your top flight status, and that is certainly the case for both Villa and QPR heading into this one.

Villa have improved under Tim Sherwood in recent weeks but come into this game off the back of two losses on the spin to Swansea and most recently, Manchester United on Saturday afternoon.

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They had started March in fine form, beating West Brom and Sunderland to climb out of the bottom three, and Tuesday night’s game against the R’s gives them the chance to further distance themselves from the drop zone.

Sherwood will need to get his players ready for what should be a real battle as a loss in this one would make relegation fears very real again, especially as the Villains travel to Tottenham and Manchester City in their next two after this.

Queens Park Rangers looked doomed before beating West Brom 4-1 on Saturday and that result has livened up the relegation battle once again.

If QPR can get another victory at Villa Park, fans will start to believe a great escape is a realistic possibility. A win in this one will pull them out of the bottom three for the first time in six weeks as their goal difference is already two better than Villa’s.

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The reverse meeting between these two ended with a 2-0 win in favour of QPR at Loftus Road, with star man Charlie Austin bagging both goals.

This will be the 14th Premier League meeting between the two sides and there has never been a 0-0 draw in the top flight so this one should deliver.

Team News

Aston Villa have eight injury worries in total as Scott Sinclair, Ashley Westwood (both hamstring), Alan Hutton (ankle), Aly Cissokho (groin), Kieran Richardson (calf), Chris Herd (knee) and Libor Kozak (leg) will all miss out. Philippe Senderos is a doubt but should return from his calf injury to be a part of the squad. Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke should start in attack once again and will need to deliver the goals if Villa are to seal victory.

Queens Park Rangers could be without Eduardo Vargas, who scored in Saturday’s win at West Brom but left the game with a knee injury. He looks set to join Leroy Fer, Alejandro Faurlin and Richard Dunne (all knee) on the sidelines. Yun Suk-Young faces a late fitness test. Chris Ramsey should stick with two strikers after Austin and Bobby Zamora both netted on Saturday.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s last five: L/W/W/L/L

Queens Park Rangers’ last five: L/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: QPR have not won back-to-back away games in the Premier League since September 1995 and their last league win at Villa Park came back in 1992.

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Key Player: Christian Benteke – The powerful Belgian forward has seen his form improve under Sherwood and he has scored four goals in his last four league matches for Villa, more than he had netted in his previous 21, with three.

Score Prediction

Aston Villa 1-2 Queens Park Rangers – After losing their first eleven away games this season, QPR have now won two of their last four on the road, both against sides in and around them at the bottom of the table. Villa improved when Sherwood took over but have gone backwards in the past two weeks and the R’s will be buzzing after Saturday’s win at West Brom. That should see them win this by the odd goal and climb out of the bottom three.

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs West Brom

Competition: FA Cup Quarter-Final – Aston Villa vs West Bromwich Albion 

Venue: Villa Park – Saturday, March 7 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 8/5 – Draw 21/10 – West Brom 9/5

Match Preview

Aston Villa and West Brom clash at Villa Park for the second time this week on Saturday evening in a West Midlands derby FA Cup quarter-final tie.

Aston Villa will be relieved as much as they are delighted to have recorded their first win in 13 Premier League games when they beat West Brom 2-1 on Tuesday thanks to a late Christian Benteke penalty – it also marked their first win under new manager Tim Sherwood.

West Brom had been in good form before the defeat to Villa having won six, drawn three and lost just one of their last ten games in all competitions.

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The FA Cup has provided Aston Villa with some much needed respite from their poor Premier League form, so if they can secure top flight status and continue their cup run, it could arguably still be a reasonably successful season given the circumstances.

Wins over Blackpool, Bournemouth and Leicester have seen them through to the quarter-final stage for the first time in five years and a trip to Wembley for the semi-final is now within touching distance.

Tony Pulis has revitalised West Brom since his arrival at the beginning of January, much like he did at Crystal Palace last season, and the midweek defeat to Villa was only his second in all competitions as the Baggies boss.

Strikers Saido Berahino and Brown Ideye have been instrumental for West Brom in recent weeks and have shared the goalscoring load successfully, as they showed in their comprehensive 4-0 win at home to West Ham in the fifth round with Ideye scoring twice and Berahino getting one.

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We’re at the stage of the competition where everyone can now almost smell the grass of the famous Wembley pitch and the players will be desperate to get an opportunity to play on such an stage, so we could see a highly competitive, hard-fought game. A proper FA Cup tie some would say.

Team News

Aston Villa will be without the suspended Alan Hutton. Aly Cissokho (groin), Chris Herd (knee), Nathan Baker (knee) and Libor Kozak (leg) will all miss out through injury while Philippe Senderos and Kieran Richardson are also doubts. Ron Vlaar is expected to return to the squad.

West Brom are likely to be without Victor Anichebe who is suffering with a groin strain. Callum McManaman missed the last game with a foot injury but may return to action this weekend depending on whether he passes a late fitness test.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/L/W

West Brom’s last five in all competitions: W/W/D/W/L

Key Stat: West Brom haven’t beaten Aston Villa in an FA Cup tie since February 1925. The two sides have clashed six times in the competition since then, which have resulted in five Villa wins and one draw.

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Key Player: Gabriel Agbonlahor – He seemed to have a new lease of life on Tuesday night and Tim Sherwood has clearly lifted the spirits and tried to get Villa playing positively and it showed in Agbonlahor’s forward play. If he can perform to near his best then he will be a real danger.

Score Prediction

Aston Villa 2-2 West Bromwich Albion – This has all the makings of a thoroughly entertaining cup tie and we could see it going back to The Hawthorns for a replay.

 

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs Leicester City

Aston Villa vs. Leicester City – FA Cup Fifth Round

Venue: Villa Park – Sunday, February 15th – 12:30PM

Match Odds: Aston Villa 7/5 – Draw 9/4 – Leicester City 19/10

Seven-time FA Cup winners Aston Villa entertain Leicester City at Villa Park in the early kick off on Sunday in what could be a fiercely contested game in the fifth round of the competition.

It will be Aston Villa’s first game since they parted company with manager Paul Lambert and they need to get back to winning ways, but most importantly start scoring goals.

Both sides are at difficult points in their season as both Villa and Leicester sit in the relegation zone in the Premier League and will definitely want to avoid a replay from this game as a result. Though a run in the cup will be good for lifting spirits.

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Aston Villa have scored just three times in their last ten games in all competitions, while the Foxes have scored ten in the same time.

This is the first Premier League side Aston Villa have faced in this year’s FA Cup after beating Championship outfits Blackpool and AFC Bournemouth at Villa Park in the third and fourth rounds respectively.

Aston Villa’s home record in all competitions: Played 15 – Won 4 – Drawn 5 – Lost – 6

Villa have really struggled this season, scoring just 12 league goals, but as we know, the FA Cup is a completely different competition and they could begin a strong finish to the season with a good result in this tie.

Leicester City’s away record in all competitions: Played 14 – Won 3 – Drawn 1 – Lost – 10 

Leicester have really struggled away from home this season, but can take positives from their 2-1 fourth round win against Tottenham and third round victory against Newcastle.

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The Foxes come into the game off the back of two defeats and managerial problems of their own after widespread reports suggested that Nigel Pearson had been sacked on Sunday night, though they ultimately proved to be incorrect.

 

Leicester can get themselves back on track with a win in this game and need to remove some of the media pressure they have been under.

A place in the quarter-final will be a major boost for either side and will help to improve what has been a tough season.

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It will be the fifth time these rivals have met in the FA Cup, with both sides having won two each in the previous four encounters. The most recent FA Cup meeting saw the Foxes win 2-1 at Villa Park in 2001.

Aston Villa’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/L/L

Leicester City’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/L/L

Key Stat: Aston Villa and Leicester have already faced each other twice in the league this season, with both games ending in victory for the home side by a single goal (2-1 to Villa and 1-0 to Leicester). Expect this to be just as close.

Key Player: Brad Guzan – The USMNT International goalkeeper has been consistently good for Aston Villa this season and if he is on song Villa will likely only need the one goal to progress.

Score Prediction: Aston Villa 1–0 Leicester City – Both sides are struggling and will want to avoid the replay. With Leicester so poor on the road Villa could just edge it.

Fabian Delph set to replace Steven Gerrard at Liverpool – report

England and Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph is on his way out of Villa Park and could be heading for Anfield to join Liverpool, according to the Daily Mirror.

Liverpool appear to be leading the race for the 25-year-old, and want Delph to be the replacement for their ageing captain Steven Gerrard.

Although Liverpool aren’t the only club interested in the former Leeds United academy graduate, as Tottenham Hotspur are also tracking the situation.

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With Delph’s current contract set to expire in the summer, Aston Villa may cash in to avoid him leaving on a free transfer in July.

Liverpool are in the last 32 of the Europa League and set to face Besiktas and Delph would be eligible to join the squad for the European competition if he signs with the Reds in January, with his credentials likely to be tested.

Delph joined Villa in 2009 under then manager Martin O’Neil from Leeds United following their failure to gain promotion to the Championship. However it was two manager successors later that he would enjoy his best spell at Villa Park, as he broke through under the stewardship of current head coach Paul Lambert in the 2012-2013 season.

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He has progressed dramatically since then as was named as Aston Villa’s Player of the Year last season before receiving an England call up and he featured in the England friendly against Switzerland in September.

Tottenham are the other club linked with Delph’s services, and a reported swap deal that would see Moussa Dembele travel to Villa has been talked about. Delph was reportedly offered a new contract at Aston Villa with improved terms in October, but the midfielder is keeping his options open and has yet to put pen to paper on any contract.

Should Aston Villa sell Fabian Delph in January, or allow him to leave for free in the summer?