Aston Villa v Chelsea – the preview

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There used to be a time when I hated international breaks as I needed to get my ‘Aston Villa fix’ every weekend. With the way things are right now, it’s become a welcome distraction in what has turned out to be a shambolic season.

A lot has happened in the last few days: Rémi Garde left the club, after numerous discussions with the club’s hierarchy, by mutual consent. Eric Black has been put in charge as the interim manager.

Micah Richards and Gabby Agbonlahor were pictured in Dubai enjoying themselves but it was Agbonlahor who caught the eye of a few journalists. He was pictured smoking cigars, drinking and reportedly in a carefree mood. His jolly boys’ outing ended with the striker being suspended by the club and an internal enquiry launched. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if this marks the end of Gabby Agbonlahor’s time at Aston Villa.

Back to matters at hand: Chelsea will travel to B6 today to face Villa in the early kick off. The London side will be looking to pile more misery on the Villans as they look for maximum points.

Match details:

Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham

Date: Saturday 2nd April 2016

Kick-off: 12:45 (Live on BT Sport 1 HD)

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Team news:

Adama Traore has finally recovered from a broken foot suffered in February and he faces a late fitness test. Aston Villa fans will be excited by this news as he has been one of the bright sparks in an otherwise poor season. The enigmatic winger will be looking to make an instant impact but will probably start on the bench against Chelsea.

Jack Grealish is also close to fitness again after recovering from a ankle injury which has hampered him for the last six weeks or so.

Gabby Agbonlahor will not feature in the first team this week after being suspended by the club.

Jordan Amavi is continuing his rehabilitation following his ACL injury.

Striker Libor Kozak’s frustrating season continues: he has been ruled out with a knee injury.

The opposition:

For the visitors, Costa will not feature against Villa due to an additional game being added to his suspension by the F.A.

Hazard, a player who many feel has not hit the heights of last season, will also miss out after suffering from a hip and groin injury.

The danger man:

Cesc Fabregas is the man to watch this week. The midfielder thrives in games such as these and can often be the difference between the two sides. What the Villa boys will have to do is get Gueye to mark him to minimise his impact in the game.

The Spanish international will look to pull the strings from the centre of the parkvand will hope to get the wingers involved with early diagonal passes. Fabregas will also look to play the ball through Villa’s defence to play in Chelsea’s strikers.

The only way to combat Fabregas will be to give him no time on the ball and have someone snapping at his heels to make him cautious in possession. It’s no surprise that the Spaniard’s dip in form has meant Chelsea Football Club has also suffered. With only four goals and four assists this season, Fabregas has not met his team’s or fans’ expectation so far but will be looking to have a big impact in today’s game.

Recent form:

In all competitions, the Villans have lost the last five games (L L L L L).

The Villans have only won once in the last five home games, beating Norwich in a 2-0 win (L L L W L).

In all competitions, today’s opponents have drawn twice, won once and lost two of their last five games (D L L D W).

Chelsea’s away form has been better, with two wins, two losses and a draw (L W W L D).

In the past:

The Londoners have won four times in their last five visits to Villa Park. The Villans did manage to beat Chelsea last season at Villa Park, with Fabian Delph scoring a fine goal to seal the points for the Villans.

1 COMMENT

  1. As a massive Villa supporter of 60+ years and season ticket holder for myself and my grandson, I feel after the outrageous season and game against Chelsea on Saturday I now feel the need to put my thoughts down for all the other supporters and fans to contribute.
    1st – The low to average salary of the players is £60,000 per week. This equates to £240,000 per month.
    Joe Public would have to work for 3 YEARS to earn just ONE WEEKS salary of a 19 year old self important villa player.
    2nd – In any other occupation outside of football, if an employee didn’t perform and constantly showed such disregard to the employer that paid their salary, they would be sacked on a capability issue, as not being capable of the job role they was employed to carry out. What is the difference between the man/woman in the street and a glorified so called footballer that as long as they collect their salary have no loyalty to a club or their supporters, they should also be dismissed on a breach of contract.
    3rd – With regard to the above, the club should pay their players the same amount of salary, as a team, should be paid as a team and not individuals and perhaps then .they would start playing as a team and to encourage each and every player to perform for each other.
    4th – Again with regard to the above two issues. The players should be paid on performance, and then they might come out onto the pitch with the intention of playing football and not walking around the pitch as if on a Sunday afternoon stroll. For a loss they should be paid a basic salary, I’m not talking silly low salary, after all we are a Premiership side or still are until the end of the season. A bonus for a draw, and a bigger bonus for a win. This would stop the players from under performing and taking the huge salary that the likes of myself and thousands like me have to pay for our season ticket which is probably the cost of a cheap bottle of wine to the players.
    A comment from a pundit on the radio left me furious on Saturday after watching the utter trash for nearly a full season, that the supporters should not vent their frustrations out on the players and should get behind the players. What do they think we have we been doing, even for the disgraceful performances we have paid to watch, we have sung and tried to get them to perform, what rubbish.
    I’m not quite sure I begin to understand the sacking of Tim Sherwood or Remi Garde, expecting them to turn a club round in a matter of weeks with no players bought in the January window and a waste of time walking out onto the pitch, showing their lack of pride, commitment, or loyalty to those that pay their salary.
    The are showing contempt, and insulting the supporters, fans, their employers get rid of them they don’t deserve to wear our glorious Villa shirt.
    Any self respecting person, would try to make if not the fans, their families, children, parents proud, it strikes me they turn up because they have to, and it is purely for money and not the pride or love of the team.
    On Valentines Day the body language watching the players come out of the tunnel showed their inconvenience of having to play a 90 minute game of football because they would have rather have been at home or partying. Aston Villa 0 – Liverpool 6 that just about sums up the bad attitude the players have. Sack them all on a breach of contract.
    I have now vented my sheer disapproval for the worse team I have had the misfortune to watch in all the years of being a Villa supporter.

    on Valentines Day against Liverpool

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