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Pre-Match Briefing: Aston Villa v Chelsea – part one

After a two-week pause for international football, it is the Blues who kick the Premier League weekend off. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton set their sights on Villa Park...


Chelsea, still unbeaten in the league under Guus Hiddink and aiming for a third straight win on the road, face an Aston Villa side under new management but with six straight defeats under their belts.

In a different season the Blues’ 2-2 home draw with West Ham a fortnight ago would be a disappointment but, sadly, this an indifferent one and, in that context, to come back twice against a top-five side can be considered a good result.

Those were two more vital points dropped, though. With other teams also as inconsistent as an amusement arcade horse-race, wins against Stoke at home and the Hammers would now have the Blues eighth, shoulder-to-shoulder with a possible Europa League place.

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