Chelsea vs Aston Villa 2015
Just what has happened to Aston Villa? Disputes regarding who was responsible for signings. Talk of a deciding period for Sherwood of just two games. Players, quite literally, sent to Coventry. There’s a lot of nonsense going on at Villa right now.
Weirdly though, Chelsea have similar problems. Poised just above the relegation zone, their players have publicly backed Jose Mourinho, (Begovic described the Portugese boss as the best manager in the world) but results have been poor. Two teams with managers in precarious positions – could Villa cause an upset? If they do, it will be the first time Chelsea have lost consecutive league home games since October/November 2011…
Villa have taken one point from seven league games
Mourinho on Villa
“How do I assess them? Good players. Good team. Not getting the best results. But a team that lost two very important players.
“And a team that the manager is trying to rebuild having lost probably the two most important players. But a good team with good players.
“And I don’t believe, like I don’t believe Chelsea will be in this position in a couple of months, that they will be in this position in a couple of months, too.”
Sherwood on Chelsea
“Any team managed by Jose Mourinho is going to be tough. There are a lot of world class footballers in their group.
“It’s a game that might suit us. No one expects anything from us. The pressure will be off somewhat and hopefully the boys will respond to that.
“We’re up to it and confident we can go there and apply ourselves correctly. We can’t worry about Chelsea. We have to think about ourselves.
We need a performance ourselves before we worry what Chelsea are going to do.”
31st December 2011 Chelsea 1 Aston Villa 3
It was a New Years Eve to remember as McLeish’s Villa added to the woes of Andre Villas-Boas
Chelsea – Last five matches at home: W 3, D 1, L 1
Villa – Last five matches away: W 1, L 4
Villa have won just once during the last five matches at Stamford Bridge
One to Watch
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Not matter how last year’s champions are doing there’s usually a sense of foreboding about Villa’s trips to Chelsea.
Although Jose Mourinho has a surprisingly poor record at Villa Park, he has never lost successive home league games as a manager, and recent trips to Stamford Bridge have been downright embarrassing for the claret and blue faithful.
You have to go back as far as 1998 for the last clean sheet at the Bridge, and in our last eight games there we’ve conceded a whopping 30 goals (including 8-0 and 7-1 spankings).
Despite recent poor form Chelsea have scored in their last 23 home league matches (the longest run in the Premier League). They might however only need to net once as we’ve lost our last four matches by a one-goal margin, and a goal away at Chelsea seems a lot to ask for Sherwood’s struggling squad.
12 of the 23 teams to be 16th after eight Premier League games (as Chelsea are now) have been relegated, while no side has finished higher than fifth (Everton 2008/09).
With talk of a return for Charles ‘Lifestyle’ N’Zogbia, Sherwood seems to be clutching at straws.
Even if Sherwood’s job isn’t on the line, you do wonder how much time he will be given if we see another poor performance on Saturday.
“How do I assess them? Good players. Good team. Not getting the best results” – Mourinho on villa
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
If reports are to be believed, Villa will take an attacking approach to Saturday’s game with Grealish and Gil involved. Hopefully it will be a return to the attacking displays seen towards the back end of last season, a style of football which Sherwood has strangely seemingly abandoned.
Gestede continues to prove he can score at the highest level so with a nervous Chelsea backline, anything is possible, particularly if Traore is involved as well.
While Sherwood has taken criticism it’s probably fair to say some of the players have underachieved. Players such as Scott Sinclair, who could make his 100th Premier League (since his debut for Chelsea!) need to step up and live up to their clear potential.
Last season we barely had a shot on target in a 3-0 loss at Stamford Bridge. Ahead of a game like this, we can only hope we remain competitive throughout the 90 minutes.
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
Mourinho’s defensive experiments have drawn criticism, particularly his decision to bench John Terry in recent games. When you look at the stats, his critics might have a point.
Is it complacency after last year’s title win? Who knows. Stats don’t lie though, and Chelsea have conceded at least twice in seven of their eight Premier League games this season!
When you read that only Sunderland (18) have conceded more league goals than Chelsea (17) this season, you can’t help but think we might have a chance on Saturday, particularly given the fact that we’ve scored in each of our last nine away games (the longest current league run!)
It’s still early in the season and with the odds stacked in our favour it seems daft to read too much into whatever result Saturday brings.
Hopefully we see a performance that reflects Sherwood’s confidence, and depicts a team with higher ambitions than simply staying in the league. UTV.
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