Jose Mourinho’s side were denied a fifth straight league win by club legend Frank Lampard, who scored his first Manchester City goal, last Sunday. But the west London outfit remain three points clear of second-placed Southampton heading into this afternoon’s fixture.
Villa are no push-overs
Chelsea are the overwhelming favourites to take all three points, but Aston Villa have already shown this season that they’re no push-overs.
However, Paul Lambert’s side will need to bounce back from last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at Villa Park. The West Midlands outfit were comprehensively pulled apart by the Gunners in the space of four devastating first-half minutes - and they face similar torment against Chelsea if they suffer another defensive meltdown.
No doubt both Lambert and assistant manager Roy Keane will have reserved some strong words for the players during Monday morning’s training session - and the Villa players will be keen to ensure they recover from Saturday and prove it was little more than a blip.
Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa.
Subs: Cech, Zouma, Filipe Luis, Mikel, Schurrle, Remy, Drogba.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Cissokho, Baker, Senderos, Westwood, Delph, Richardson, Cleverley, Weimann, Agbonlahor (c).
Subs: Given, Clark, Bacuna, Sanchez, N’Zogbia, Grealish, Bent
Mourinho has named his strongest possible starting line-up, with the likes of Fabregas and top scorer Costa all starting.
Petr Cech, meanwhile, drops down to the bench as Thibaut Courtois returns to take his place between the sticks.
Villa have also fielded their strongest eleven, with Fabian Delph, Tom Cleverley and Gabriel Agbonlahor all names amongst the starters.