Aston Villa vs Chelsea. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

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Will Emery knock Pochettino out of the tournament and continue his trophy hunt?

Aston Villa FC will host Chelsea FC in the Emirates FA Cup 4th round match at the Villa Park Stadium. The fixture will take place on Thursday, February 8, beginning at 01:30 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Aston Villa News & Current Form: 

After beating Middlesbrough FC in the previous round of the FA Cup (0:1), Aston Villa drew with Chelsea (0:0) in London and have to play the second leg at home. It was an even battle, both teams had chances, but failed to capitalize on them. Surprisingly, the hosts have not gone further than the fourth round in the domestic cup since reaching the final in 2015. 

In the English Premier League, the Birmingham side, just like last season, are pleasing the fans: the team are in fourth place, three points behind Manchester City FC and Arsenal FC, but two points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur FC. The current position allows the Yellow and Blues to seriously qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

The team this season pleasantly surprises with the high quality of play and under the leadership of Unai Emery often presses, creates a lot of dangerous chances and defends reliably. 

Top scorer of Aston Villa – Ollie Watkins

However, in recent weeks the team looks not so confident: 2 defeats in the last 6 rounds against 2 wins and 2 draws. After a 1:3 home defeat to Newcastle United FC, the Lions demolished a sinking Sheffield United FC last weekend (0:5): Villa took control of the ball and struck 14 times. The outcome of the match became abundantly clear by half-time as the Lions scored four goals, with a powerful shot from Alex Moreno putting the game to bed. 

Tyrone Mings and Emiliano Buendía, defenders Lucas Digne and Pau Torres and striker Jhon Duran are still missing from the squad. In addition, Italian winger Nicolo Zaniolo has not had time to fully recover from an injury. Prospective 18-year old right-back Kosta Nedeljkovic was acquired by the club this winter, but will finish the season on loan at his former club. 

Ollie Watkins remains the team’s main attacking force. The 28-year-old has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season and became the first player from the top-flight to score 10 goals and make as many assists this season.

He is excellent in the penalty area and due to his good physical condition constantly keeps the opponent’s defense in suspense. He will be supported by wingers Leon Bailey (7 goals and 6 assists) and Moussa Diaby (4 goals and 4 assists). 

In addition, the club continues to play in European competitions, where it reached the 1/8 finals of the UEFA Europa Conference League thanks to the victory in the same group with Legia Warsaw, AZ Alkmaar and HSK Zrinjski Mostar.

Chelsea News & Current Form: 

After a comfortable 4:0 win over Preston North End FC in the opening round of the FA Cup, Chelsea failed to beat Aston Villa in front of their fans. Pochettino’s side had more possession of the ball and Unai Emery opted for cautious tactics. Despite the powerful ambitions of the Blues, the London club is once again disappointing fans with unimpressive results. 

Occupying only 11th place in the Premier League standings, the visitors have almost completely lost their chances to qualify for the European Cup through the national championship. 

After 3 consecutive victories in January over Crystal Palace FC, Luton Town FC and Fulham FC, the wards of Mauricio Pochettino suffered two consecutive setbacks: from Liverpool FC (4:1) and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (2:4): a hat-trick by Matheus Cunha and an auto-goal by Axel Disasi decided the outcome of the meeting. Chelsea have lost six of their last seven away games. However, the Londoners still have a chance to qualify for the European Cup: they will face Liverpool in the English Football League Cup final.

Cole Palmer – author of the goal in fixture against Wolverhampton

The capital team’s bid is still weakened by injuries to main goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, captain Reece James, center-back Wesley Fofana, talented Marc Cucurella, Romeo Lavia and Lesley Ugochukwu. Striker Nicolas Jackson (7 goals), who returned from the African Cup of Nations, was able to play again against Wolverhampton and he is being challenged by Frenchman Christopher Nkunku. Cole Palmer (10 goals and 4 assists) scored again last weekend and is a vital figure for the Blues. 

Chelsea are trying to play fast football, but without a prolific striker it’s not much use. Armando Broja and Raheem Sterling are trying, but they are not scoring goals. And they expected more from Mykhaylo Mudryk.

Coach Mauricio Pochettino is still searching for the optimal squad. He is experimenting, trying different combinations of players, but instability negatively affects the results of the team. The Aristocrats are a long way from reviving their former level of play. Rumors are circulating about the club management’s interest in inviting Xabi Alonso as head coach in the summer.

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Aston Villa form guide: W-W-D-D-L-W

Chelsea form guide: L-W-W-D-L-L

Aston Villa vs Chelsea Head-To-Head Record:

Aston VillaDrawChelsea
  • April 1, 2023: Chelsea 0 – 2 Aston Villa (Premier League);
  • September 24, 2023: Chelsea 0 – 1 Aston Villa (Premier League);
  • January 26, 2024: Chelsea 0 – 0 Aston Villa (FA Cup).

Aston Villa vs Chelsea Predicted XI:

Aston Villa’s possible starting lineup (4-4-2): Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Lenglet, Moreno; McGinn, Kamara, Luiz, Bailey; Diaby, Watkins.

Chelsea’s possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Petrovic; Gusto, Disasi, Badiashile, Chilwell; Chukwuemeka, Fernandez; Palmer, Nkunku, Mudryk; Jackson.

Statistical preview of the match Aston Villa vs Chelsea:

  • Aston Villa’s First XI average age is 27.5 years, Chelsea’s First XI average age is 25.0 years.
  • The total value of Aston Villa’s squad is 620 mln euros, while the total of Chelsea comes up to 948 mln euros.
  • Thomas Bramall has been appointed as the center referee. The referee has already served 17 games this season, showing an average of 4.4 Yellow Cards and also whistles 22 fouls per game. 
  • Aston Villa average 6.35 corners per game, while Chelsea average 6. 
  • Villa collect an average of 2.75 yellow cards per game, while the Blues get 2.6. 
  • The Birmingham side have picked up just one win in their last 10 games in the FA Cup (1 draw and 8 defeats).
  • One of the teams did not score in 3 out of 4 previous games of Aston Villa in this tournament.
  • The Lions have a 5-match losing streak on their field in the FA Cup.
  • In 9 previous games in this tournament, Chelsea lost only once in regular time (5 wins and 3 draws).
  • At least one of the teams has not scored in 90 minutes in the last 6 games of the Londoners in the FA Cup.
  • The Blues have not lost in regulation time in 9 out of 10 previous away games in this tournament (7 wins and 2 draws). 

What has been said before the match:

Gaffer of the Lions Unai Emery ahead of FA Cup return fixture with Chelsea:

“We are motivated and excited when we are playing here for everything – Carabao Cup, FA Cup, Europe and the Premier League. Tomorrow, to play at home with our supporters must be the best moment for Aston Villa supporters being together and trying to connect at Villa Park.”

“We want to win, we want to impose our game plan and our skills. But we’ll need the supporters, the players, our best performances, our best support in the stadium for our fans.”

“Of course, we’ll play a match trying to be excited and trying to be motivated and trying to be with our fans behind us in 90 minutes, and even more if it goes to extra-time or a penalty shoot-out.”

“I expect a good Chelsea. We drew there but we struggled in the first half a lot, they were better than us. Progressively in the second half we were imposing our ideas, our gameplan, and we had chances as well to score and to win.”

“Tomorrow, I expect the best Chelsea because they got to the Carabao Cup final. For them, this competition is very important as well because they are not in Europe. And they have a very good coach. They’re improving a lot, they lost the last two matches against Liverpool and Wolverhampton.”

Mauricio Pochettino about the mentality of his players:

“We need to create a good connection with the fans. It’s our responsibility to create that connection, to find something between us that is appreciated. That is something we have thought about in the last few weeks. The fans need to see from us that we care about the club – and I promise to every single fan the players want to perform and win games.”

“The players suffer a lot when they are not performing, they feel that responsibility. They are desperate to receive love from the fans but they understand the situation. When we don’t perform or get the result, it’s normal there is criticism from supporters.”

“So, this is something we need to create together and I think the team will achieve that. The players need to feel the engagement with the fans, their energy, and that depends on us to show the right energy in every single game we play.”

Aston Villa vs Chelsea Prediction:

The Londoners are enduring a dreadful season without any hint of stability and are now in 11th place in the Premier League. Mauricio Pochettino’s wards are having particular difficulties with away matches – six defeats in the last seven games. The last time the Londoners did not concede away was on the 2nd of October (a 2:0 win over Fulham). The Blues’ defensive system is in complete turmoil and chaos for a variety of reasons, which is reflected in the 39 conceded in the EPL (1.7 average per game), with only six teams worse. The Aristocrats have conceded more than one goal in six of their seven previous away fixtures of the season. At the same time, the attacking line has been doing relatively well, producing a 1.5 goals on average over the course of the last seven away matches.

Aston Villa, for their part, are in the middle of a fantastic season, rightfully occupying the 4th place in the EPL. The Birminghamians play aggressive attacking football, boldly going forward using the Spanish coach’s ideas, which helps them to net an average of 2.1 goals per game over the course of the season (the 3rd best offense in the English Premier League). The home form is particularly impressive: the Lions have played 16 matches at Villa Park in all competitions this 23/24 campaign – 13 wins, a draw and just two defeats. And the December encounter with Manchester City (1:0), where the Citizens lost in every aspect of the game (e.g. shots: 22 vs 2), is worth a mention. Such a charged and hard-working Aston Villa is capable of taking at least 1 trophy in England this season, and it will not be a sensation. In the return cup match Unai Emery’s team looks the favorite, and at any score will think about attack and look for holes in the opponent’s defense, and there are plenty of them. Aston Villa have scored more than once in ten of their 16 matches at home in the current campaign. At the same time, Aston Villa’s defense is quite stable and renowned for its reliability: conceded in only one of the five previous matches in different tournaments.

In their last three face-to-face games against Chelsea, the Villans have managed to register clean sheets. The average xG of Aston Villa over that stretch is almost two. That said, Mauricio Pochettino’s men should be more motivated, as progress in the FA Cup is just about the only chance left to save face. 

Both coaches will make adjustments to the starting line-up, but these changes are unlikely to affect the teams’ chances of success. The Lions rarely let their opponents off the hook at home, and Chelsea don’t look like a team capable of giving Aston Villa a challenge that can’t be met. However, the surprise factor, especially in cup tournaments, should not be ruled out, so we can expect the home team not to lose in regulation time. 

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: Aston Villa will not lose and both teams will score – Yes.

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