Chelsea are set to take to the field to play their second Premier League game in 48 hours, as they welcome a high-flying Aston Villa side to Stamford Bridge later today. The Blues are coming on the back of a 3-1 hammering against local rivals Arsenal and will look to return to winning ways in the Premier League.
Aston Villa, on the other hand, have been one of the best teams in the Premier League this season and impressed with their brand of attacking football. Dean Smith and co are level on points with Chelsea despite playing two games fewer and will look to record another famous victory this season after triumphs against Arsenal and Liverpool.
Chelsea to get their title challenge back on track, says Mark Lawrenson
BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson predicted Chelsea to record a 2-0 victory despite their recent run of form. The Blues have lost three of their last four Premier League encounters, but Lawrenson believes Lampard's side will bounce back in style.
“I am not surprised Chelsea boss Frank Lampard criticised his side’s performance in their defeat by Arsenal, because they were well short. The Blues have now lost three of their past four league games and this next test is also far from easy, against an Aston Villa side that are playing well and are full of confidence."
“Villa had to play with 10 men for the whole second half of their win over Crystal Palace but still looked the more dangerous side going forward."
“I’m still going with Chelsea here though, because I think we will see a reaction from their players. They can’t be as bad as that again, surely?"
Lawrenson also admitted that Aston Villa can leave Stamford Bridge with their heads held high regardless of the outcome, as the Villains have exceeded expectations this season.
“Whatever happens to Villa at Stamford Bridge, they have still given themselves an excellent platform for the rest of the season. It took them 24 games to reach 25 points last season, so they have done it in nine games fewer this time.
“Being realistic, I don’t see them challenging for the top four, but they have already proved a lot of people wrong with their results so far.”
Chelsea have lost three Premier League games in December and cannot afford any more slip ups if they are to have a realistic chance of winning the league title this season.
Published 28 Dec 2020, 16:52 IST