Both sides will be looking to retain a 100% start at Stamford Bridge in this rearranged fixture.
Last season: 8-0
Aston Villa are returning to possibly the scene of their lowest point of last season when they were comprehensively battered by Chelsea as the Villains were flirting with the drop zone.
Paul Lambert had bemoaned how this fixture had been rearranged – because of Chelsea’s involvement in the UEFA Super Cup – in such a short space of time between them playing Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium and welcoming Liverpool to Villa Park at the weekend.
But both teams are in good spirits ahead of this clash with Villa coming off the back of a surprise win at the Emirates Stadium whilst Chelsea comfortably, if unspectacularly, overcame Hull on theirs and Jose Mourinho’s return to the Premier League.
Christian Benteke is once against Villa’s man to watch after playing a key role in their victory over Arsenal and it will be interesting to see how Chelsea play him. With his pace, power and his ability to bring others into play, it’s not expected that Chelsea will play too high a line which will combat the threat of Agbonlahor having plenty of space to run into behind.
It will be interesting to see if Lambert rotates his side given his unhappy response to the difficult start his side has, or whether he will make little or no changes to the side that caused an opening day upset.
David Luiz missed Sunday’s game against Hull with a hamstring injury so it will be interesting if he will make a return to the side or whether Mourinho will protect him in order to be fit for their clash with Manchester United next Monday night.
Kevin de Bruyne impressed on his debut for Chelsea in the middle of the park as he was given the task of pulling the strings behind Torres, Oscar and Hazard. With Juan Mata not starting on Sunday, he might make a return to the first eleven tomorrow evening.
It looks as though it will be a difficult task for Villa to repeat their Emirates heroics with Chelsea strong favourites to make it two wins from two.
Last time the sides met
Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea
Frank Lampard struck twice on a famous day for him personally and for Chelsea as he became Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer. With Chelsea chasing Champions League qualification and Villa fighting for their Premier League status, Christian Benteke gave the hosts the perfect start before Ramires was sent off for Chelsea. Shortly after the break Benteke went from hero to villain, allowing Frank Lampard to take centre stage to equalise on the hour mark before Lampard won the game with his 203rd goal for Chelsea towards the end of normal time.
image: © Jason Bagley