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Chelsea prepare to face Lambert's young Lions


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Chelsea resume their assault on the Premier League title this Saturday, welcoming a youthful Aston Villa side that has made an impressive start to the season to Stamford Bridge for a 15:00 GMT kick off.

As the nights begin to draw in and Autumn looms Jose Mourinho must once again adapt his squad to a two game per week schedule and will be hoping to continue where he left off on Wednesday evening by halting Aston Villa's superb start to their league campaign. A team virus put pay to Villa's unbeaten start on Saturday as quickfire goals from Ozil, Welbeck and a Cissokho own goal saw Paul Lambert's men go down 0-3 to Arsenal. Chelsea meanwhile drew 1-1 with title challengers Manchester City. A late strike from Blues legend Frank Lampard cancelled out Andre Schurrle's goal.

The Opposition

Paul Lambert has been quick to answer his critics this season by guiding his young side to 3 wins and a draw in their opening 5 league games. A second round Capital One Cup defeat at the hands of Leyton Orient may be seen as a blessing in disguise for the Birmingham-based side who will look to build on last season's 15th placed finish. The acquisition of experienced Premier League stars such as Joe Cole, Philippe Senderos and Kieran Richardson to guide promising young talents like Andreas Weimann and Fabian Delph looks to have paid dividends with Villa looking far more threatening than in previous years. Despite taking 10 points from a possible 15, Aston Villa have already faced two of last season's top 4. Not over the early season fixture hump yet, Paul Lambert must prepare his side for the stern tests that Manchester City and Everton will pose over the next fortnight too.

Tactically, Villa can be expected to use the blistering pace of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann on the counter attack. In the absence of Christian Benteke both players have found some sort of goalscoring form and have both bagged 2 goals from wide positions so far this season although it must be added that Agbonlahor has increasingly been taking up central positions. Aston Villa's recent trip to Anfield proved just how frustrating they can be against the bigger sides on the road. Scoring from their only shot on target and enjoying only 26% possession as well as stringing together only 60% of their 269 passes highlights just how hard the Midlands side fought for the points. It was also one of the three clean sheets they have already kept this season, showing that Paul Lambert's men are able to contain their opponents well.

Team News:

Chelsea- The home side will almost certainly revert to the familiar back five of Thibaut Courtois, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta. Fabregas, Hazard and Diego Costa can also be expected to come back into the side after sitting out the midweek victory over Bolton. Ramires may feature after overcoming injury.

Likely line up (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Hazard, Willian, Schurrle; Diego Costa

Aston Villa- A bit of guesswork is required in order to predict Aston Villa's lineup this weekend given that illness has swept through playing staff over the last 10 days. Fabian Delph, Brad Guzan and Nathan Baker have been among the victims of the virus but could play. Christian Benteke and Ron Vlaar are not expected to return until next week.

Likely line up (4-5-1): Guzan; Hutton, Senderos, Clark, Cissokho; Weimann, Cleverley, Sanchez, Delph, Richardson; Agbonlahor


Since the 2007/08 season only 2 games between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge have finished with less than 4 goals

Four of these meetings saw 2 or more penalties awarded during the match

Our all-time record against Aston Villa is P 148 W 57 D 34 L 57

Andre Schurrle had 9 more shots than the entire Bolton team on Wednesday

Our biggest defeat against Villa was 7-1 in 1951/52 and our biggest win was 8-0 in 2012/13


Courtesy of SkyBet

Chelsea Win: 1/5
Draw: 11/2
Aston Villa Win: 12/1

TV Coverage:

UK: Highlights Match of the Day 22:30
USA: NBC Sports Live Extra
Middle East: BeIN Sports

Others see here

There should be many match streams that can be found online if your local sports channels are not broadcasting the game. Or, if you happen to be busy and cannot catch the game live, follow TalkChelsea on Twitter as it would provide live match commentary on the action.

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