Aston Villa have seen enough of Remi Garde, and the Frenchman had probably seen enough of Villa, so after six defeats on the bounce Eric Black has been given the responsibility of improving results. Chelsea are still unbeaten in the league under Guus Hiddink after 13 games but eight draws and the failures in Europe and in the FA Cup mean it’s been an underwhelming spell for the Dutchman.
Villa have lost seven of their last eight games against Chelsea including three of four in this fixture despite scoring in all four seasons. They’ve also lost 10 of their last 16 home games with just two wins, against Palace and Norwich, and they’ve lost six of eight hosting middle-third teams in that period so there are few positives for the home side.
The Blues have done better on the road than at home under Hiddink as they’ve won four of their last five away matches. Their record away to bottom-six teams is also superb as they’ve won 13 of their last 16 such matches despite just three clean sheets.
However, Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Kurt Zouma continue to miss out for Chelsea and those are major blows. They’ve drawn six of their last seven matches when Hazard has been out of the starting XI while this season they are winless in seven attempts when Costa has been missing. Defensively Chelsea have conceded in all five games since Zouma was injured and in each of their last 11 matches when he’s been missing.
So that Chelsea price of 1.57 starts to look less tempting given all this and while they’ve won nine of their last 10 trips to bottom-six sides just one of those was by more than a single goal. Eight of those 10 games had at least three goals as both teams scored in eight and goals is a reasonable option here with Over 2.5 a decent 2.05 and Both Teams to Score at 2.18. Villa look to have little fight left in them though and while we might not exactly trust Chelsea they do appeal to win with both teams scoring.
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