Chelsea welcome Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge this weekend for the 5:30 pm kick off on Saturday. With the two sides only separated by goal difference, both will be desperate to get their hands on all three points.
The Blues have had a rough ride of it this season, sitting in tenth and 11 points off of the last Champions League place and nine points adrift from any European football action in the 2023/24 season. In 27 games, Chelsea have only won ten times, drawing eight games and losing nine, three more than they did in the entirety of the 2021/22 Premier League season. The international break disturbed a better run for Graham Potter’s team, but a number of Chelsea stars had a positive break and momentum to bring into the latter half of the season, namely Joao Felix and Christian Pulisic who were on target for Portugal and the US respectively.
In their last five Premier League games, Chelsea registered two wins, a draw and two losses. A shock 1 - 0 defeat to Southampton due to a James Ward-Prowse freekick and a painful 2 - 0 loss to bitter London rivals Tottenham meant that the win against Leeds was a relief for the team and Potter. The win over Leeds kick started a small streak for The Blues, winning 2 - 0 in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund, overcoming their loss in the first leg and booking their place in the Quarter-finals against Real Madrid and beating Leicester 3 - 1 with Mateo Kovacic bagging a wondergoal. However, Chelsea and their fans were left with a bad taste in their mouths going into the international break, drawing 2 - 2 with Everton.
Aston Villa, similarly, have had a roller coaster of a season thus far. They sit 11th also on 38 points, separated from their opponents solely on goal difference. However, Villa do have a healthy nine point buffer to Crystal Palace in 12th. In their 27 games Villa have 11 wins, five draws and 11 losses, leaving them just two wins behind their full season tally last year. Like Chelsea, Villa opted to change managers through the season, swapping Steven Gerrard for former Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
The last five Premier League games for Villa have ended in three wins, a draw and a loss. Their only loss came against top of the league Arsenal who came back to win 4 - 2 in extra time with an especially cruel own goal from Emiliano Martinez. All three of their wins came against teams below them in the table, a 2 - 0 win over Everton, a 1 - 0 win over a ten-man Crystal Palace and 3 - 0 win over Bournemouth in their final game before the international break. The one draw came against West Ham, where Villa’s opening goal from Ollie Watkins was cancelled out by a Said Benrahma penalty.