15 March 2020
Aston Villa and Chelsea will face off at Villa Park in contrasting circumstances. While the visitors continue to chase the top-four finish in the Premier League (PL), the hosts are fighting tooth and nail to avoid relegation.
Four consecutive league defeats have shipped the hosts back to the relegation zone, as they trail 17th-placed Watford by two points ahead of the kick-off. All four of their previous PL losses have seen Villa concede over 1.5 match goals, with the last three seeing them allow at least one in both halves. Although no team has shipped more league goals than Aston Villa (56) so far, only 42.86% (24) of them came at home. Unfortunately for the home fans, the Lions seem unlikely to improve that record here, considering they’ve conceded over 1.5 goals in four of their last five top-flight home clashes against Chelsea, losing each one of them (W1). In turn, Dean Smith’s players have lost all three of their previous home matches against the current top-four sides, conceding two goals or more in each.
Meanwhile, the visitors have overseen an upturn in results recently, going from four consecutive PL fixtures without a win (D2, L2) to three straight games without a loss (W2, D1). Yet, the Blues have failed to pick up a win in four successive PL trips (D3, L1), with each of those draws seeing both teams on the scoresheet. Particularly vulnerable in the second half of play, the Pensioners have yielded 67% of their total PL away goals conceded after the break (16/24). Indeed, strong first-half performances have witnessed Chelsea ship the opening goal in four of 14 PL road trips, although they failed to bounce back in three such matches (W1, L3).
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