Aston Villa vs. Chelsea, English Premier League, Villa Park Birmingham, England 8:45 AM EST Saturday October 17, 2009
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Well, international matches are over for a while and now it is time to get back to business in league play. Aston Villa has started the season decently and they currently sit in 7th position in the England Premier League with 13 points while Chelsea is at the top of the league table with 21 points. Aston Villa was solid in their last match against the solid Manchester City team even though it was only a 1-1 draw and they hope their good play continues even though there has been a long break. In their last match Chelsea looked great in a 2-0 win over Liverpool.
Both teams are tied with allowing the fewest goals in the Premier League so far (6 goals), but Chelsea has the advantage on offense, as they have scored 18 goals and Aston Villa has only scored 10. This is not surprising since Chelsea has so many legit players that can score. Chelsea can stay atop the league with a win and this is their toughest match coming up, as after the face Aston Villa they face Bolton and Blackburn, who both rank in the bottom 8 of the league table.
Aston Villa needs to start winning and move up in the league table if they are going to finish in the top 4 and snag an automatic Champions League berth, but that will not be easy, especially if their offense continues to struggle. It seems as if Aston Villa has been a thorn in the side of Chelsea, as the Blues have only won one match against Villa in the past decade.
Chelsea are the away favorites in this match posted at 1.80 with Aston Villa as the home underdogs at 4.35 with a draw at 3.40.
Aston Villa Recent Form:
10/5/2009 Aston Villa 1 Manchester City 1
9/26/2009 Blackburn 2 Aston Villa 1
9/19/2009 Aston Villa 2 Portsmouth 0
9/13/2009 Birmingham 0 Aston Villa 1
8/30/2009 Aston Villa 2 Fulham 0
Chelsea Recent Form:
10/4/2009 Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0
9/26/2009 Wigan 3 Chelsea 1
9/20/2009 Chelsea 3 Tottenham 0
9/12/2009 Stoke 1 Chelsea 2
8/29/2009 Chelsea 3 Burnley 0
Both teams are relatively healthy after the break for the World Cup qualifiers.
Aston Villa will have to play a stellar defensive game and they have to mark striker Didier Drogba, who is 3rd in the Premier League in both goals (6) and assists (5) this season. Drogba is known for taking long runs and the Villa defense will have to keep that from happening.
Chelsea’s Frank Lampard has 4 assists this season and he cannot be let alone in the midfield to find the strikers. If Lampard dominates the midfield in this game Chelsea will have many chances to score and it may be a long day for the hosts.
Gabriel Agbonlahor is the main offensive weapon for Aston Villa, as he has 4 goals this season. If he is silent in this match the home quad does not have many other offensive options.
Aston Villa may bottleneck the midfield to try to thwart the chances the solid midfielders of Chelsea will have to find the strikers. Villa will play a 4-4-2 formation and they hope that clogging the midfield and backfield will limit the scoring chances that Chelsea will have.
Chelsea will attack in this game, as they only have a slight 2-point lead over Manchester United, who are at home against an inferior Bolton team on Saturday. Because of this Aston Villa will be looking for the quick counter attack.
Aston Villa has American goalie Brad Friedel and he will have to have a good game since Chelsea has such a solid attack.
Jason’s Pick: Both of these teams have been stellar on defense, but Chelsea has way too many weapons on offense to have their attack go silent. I see Chelsea winning a close game and for Villa to have their offensive woes continue. I think a score of 1-0 or 2-0 for Chelsea is the call in this match.