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Villa have a point to prove against Chelsea


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Aston Villa take on Chelsea at Villa Park this weekend, with the home crowd able to sigh a breath of relief after the club have moved themselves out of the relegation mire. Back-to-back wins against fellow bottom-half opponents Sunderland and Norwich have lifted the Birmingham-based side to 40 points, and a minor miracle will now be needed for Villa to go down.

That said much is still to play for. Villa are only three points from 10th place, and with positive results in their last two fixtures could actually make the top half. Although Betfair have the side as outsiders to beat Chelsea on Saturday, even at home, Paul Lambert's men will be motivated to keep up their good form.

The fact that the west Londoners inflicted an 8-0 hammering on Villa, starting the club's second-half of the season slide, means that the hosts should have revenge on the agenda.

Chelsea are in need of a win to secure a top-four Premier League place, and also have the Europa League final to play next Wednesday. Rafa Benitez will most likely not rest any of his key players for the game given that Arsenal and Tottenham will look to pile pressure on with wins this weekend.

Villa's home form has not been good enough this season, and this will need to be one of the key things that needs to change for the club to have a more positive campaign in 2013-14. A 6-1 win over Sunderland will hopefully be the shot in the arm and boost in confidence that the side needed at home, and a positive result against Chelsea would be great with next season in mind.

Finally, a good result against Chelsea and strong end to the season may well be the difference between keeping and losing key striker Christian Benteke. The Belgian frontman has been a shining ray of light in an otherwise dull campaign, and will have suitors this summer. An upturn in the club's fortunes may well convince Benteke that his future is in Birmingham.

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