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Match Preview: Villa v Chelsea


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by Villafan306

Aston Villa v Chelsea

Villa Park

Barclays Premiership

January 2nd 2007

The start of arguably the brightest year in our club's recent history begins at home with a visit from the champions. This time last year if you would have been offered the same amount of points but a new ambitious board and Martin O'Neill in charge of the team would you have taken it?

Well that's the situation we have and before the transfer window starts getting interesting we have the small matter of Chelsea to occupy ourselves. Now, we are in terrible form. There is no denying that. Form so bad that a number of fans have started to doubt MON's management. My personal view is that he has done no better or no worse than DOL with the same players - maybe DOL wasn't as bad as we thought and it was the team at fault?

Either way that is a debate for another day (most likely tomorrow) but tonight we have a chance to put a dent in Chelsea's title challenge. Mourinho has never been victorious at Villa Park, and tonight is our best chance yet to continue that little run.

Chelsea are woeful in defence without John Terry and Peter Cech. The pace of Agbonlahor could really cause them problems if we played him up front rather than in midfield but with injuries and suspensions that may not be possible. Chelsea will also be without Michael Ballack who is suspended which may be a blessing in disguise as he and Lampard seem to hinder each other's game when playing together in midfield. Boulahrouz will return after suspension, while Arjen Robben and Joe Cole are still missing due to injury.

As for us, well Gareth Barry misses out due to suspension after being sent off against Charlton. Wilfred Bouma will probably replace him at left back whilst Petrov faces a late fitness test on a hamstring injury. Isaiah Osbourne will take his place if he cannot take part.

If we attack from the first second, don't let them settle and take advantage of their poor defense we can get something out of this one. A win maybe overly optimistic but a draw is a distinct possibility. However, knowing our luck they will have sorted out their problems and Shevchenko will find his form. I'm going to be ridiculously unrealistic and predict a 2-1 win.

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