Chelsea vs Aston Villa

Stamford Bridge forms the backdrop for a mouth-watering FA Cup tie between Chelsea and Aston Villa.

Chelsea’s mini-revival continued last week as Mauricio Pochettino’s side claimed an overwhelming 6-1 home win against second-tier Middlesbrough to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit and qualify for the League Cup grand final. That was Chelsea’s fifth victory in their last six competitive outings (L1), with four of them seeing the ‘Blues’ score at least two goals. Another successful cup assignment is on the cards, considering Stamford Bridge has been a fortress of late. The ‘Pensioners’ have racked up an eye-catching nine-match unbeaten home streak in all competitions (W7, D2 – 90 minutes only). That’s not to mention they’ve netted multiple goals on seven occasions, underscoring the potential for an action-packed contest.

Aston Villa’s last meeting with Chelsea was anything but chance-packed, with Unai Emery’s side eking out a narrow 1-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge in September. That was their second consecutive victory in West London, offering the ‘Lions’ a unique chance to beat the ‘Blues’ in three successive H2Hs in the capital for the first time since 1960. Unbeaten in three competitive matches in the build-up to this trip (W2, D1), including a scoreless draw at Everton last time out, the Midlands outfit won’t lack confidence, especially considering it marked their second clean sheet on the trot. Defensive solidity used to be a rare commodity in Villa’s travels preceding this run, with the Birmingham-based side going eight straight road trips without a shutout beforehand.

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