Stats: £26.1m Juan Cuadrado likely to be key in Chelsea weekend clash

Photo Huddle - Chelsea

Ahead of Chelsea's Premier League clash with Aston Villa at Villa Park, we bring you all the best Opta stats.

Chelsea travel to Villa Park for their Premier League encounter with Aston Villa on Saturday. Jose Mourinho's men recorded a convincing 3-0 victory over Paul Lambert's side in the reverse fixture, held at Stamford Bridge in September, and the Villains' current form doesn't provide much hope of an improved result. 

Here are the top five statistics ahead of Saturday's encounter:

  • Jose Mourinho has a surprisingly poor record as a coach against Aston Villa at Villa Park in the Barclays Premier League with Chelsea (W0 D3 L2). The Villains are one of only two Premier League teams the Portuguese head coach has visited with the Stamford Bridge outfit without having at least one victory. Nevertheless, Chelsea have won five and lost one of the last six Premier League meetings with Aston Villa, both home and away. 
  • The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph both claim Cesc Fabregas - Chelsea's most creative asset, having fashioned 65 key passes - is still struggling with the hamstring injury he sustained in the Blues' 1-0 League Cup win over Liverpool. Meanwhile, John Obi Mikel is still struggling with a head injury he suffered in the shock FA Cup defeat to Bradford City, while Willian (1 goal, 1 assist) was forced off against City.
  Eden HazardNemanja MaticWillianCesc FàbregasOscarRamiresJohn Obi Mikel
Appearances 23 22 22 21 19 13 12
Goals 8 1 1 2 6 1 0
Assists 5 2 1 15 7 3 1
  • The lack of midfield possibilities for Jose Mourinho, and the defensive approach Aston Villa are likely to take, increase the chances of Juan Cuadrado making his Chelsea debut this weekend. The Blues' new £26.1 million man has already been involved in eight Fiorentina goals this season – scoring four and setting up four – and in 17 Serie A starts and five Europa League appearances this campaign he has attempted 93 take-ons, completing 50 of them. He could be key.
  • Chelsea's chances of continuing their impressive defensive record look very likely to continue. The Blues have conceded just 20 goals this term - the division's second-best total - while recording 11 clean sheets. Meanwhile, Aston Villa have netted the joint-fewest goals of any team after 23 matches of an English top-flight season (11 along with Leicester City 1977-78 and Derby County 2007-08). The statistics certainly point in the visitors' favour. 
  SouthamptonChelseaManchester UnitedManchester CityArsenal
Goals Conceded 17 20 22 23 25
Clean Sheet 10 11 7 7 8
  • If you're looking to place a cheeky bet, or simply in search of a dependable option for your fantasy league team, Branislav Ivanovic could be your man this weekend. The Serbian bulldozer made his Premier League debut against Aston Villa and has scored four goals in his last five Premier League starts against the Villains; an impressive record for a full-back.

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