Aston Villa will be looking for crucial Premier League points this weekend when they host a Chelsea side that still have top four ambitions on Saturday afternoon.
After the defeat to Arsenal last time out, Villa manager Alex McLeish came out and said he wasn’t worried about relegation. In truth though, they are one of the clubs that could be dragged into a scrap at the bottom if their form doesn’t improve.
As things stand, they are eight points clear of the relegation zone, so they are outsiders for the drop. No doubt about that. However, they are on the back of just one win in their last seven Premier League games and confidence is low.
Having said that, one of the highlights of their season so far was the 3-1 win at Chelsea back in December, so maybe they will raise their game against Roberto Di Matteo’s men.
Villa Park certainly needs to be rocking because three points here would be massive for their attitude going into the remainder of the campaign.
As for Chelsea, well they are going into this one on the back of a fantastic win at Benfica in the Champions League. They won 1-0 in Portugal and now have one foot in the semi-final of the competition.
Focus must return to the Premier League this weekend though and their quest for a top four finish. At the moment they are five points behind Tottenham, so they have it all to do, but it is still a realistic aim.
One thing that is extremely encouraging for Chelsea at the moment is the team spirit they have displayed. For the first time in a while, everyone appears together. The way everyone on the bench celebrated the goal in Benfica was an accurate representation of where Chelsea are at right now.
It was also a result which perhaps confirmed that Di Matteo’s name would be among the list of potential full-time managers and this is credit to the job he has done. He will be determined that this good work continues at Villa Park.
There is a good chance it will too. Villa are very low on confidence right now and it might only take an early Chelsea goal to turn the atmosphere in the away side’s favour. The prediction for this one is a 3-1 victory for Chelsea as they continue to go from strength to strength this season.