Preview: Chelsea vs Aston Villa | Premier League

Matt Debono

Chelsea will be looking to end their run of two straight defeats in the Premier League as they host Aston Villa on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge

It’s been a tough two weeks for Frank Lampard after he saw his side pick up back-to-back defeats in the league for the first time this season.

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Chelsea were dealt with a shock defeat by West Ham at Stamford Bridge as Aaron Cresswell's strike was enough for the Hammers to take all three points. Getty Images

Defeats against Manchester City and West Ham has seen the Blues’ lead in fourth slip from 12 points to six as Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur pile the pressure on.

Meanwhile newly-promoted Aston Villa will be buoyed on by their 2-2 draw against Manchester United at the weekend after boss Dean Smith recently penned a new deal at Villa Park.

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Frank Lampard will have to wait to find out whether he will have forward Tammy Abraham available for Aston Villa’s visit. The 22-year-old said he was ‘hopeful’ of recovering from his hip injury in time for the Premier League clash.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains out for the hosts as he continues his recovery from injury, but Lampard could have Ross Barkley and Antonio Rudiger back in the matchday squad on Wednesday.

Aston Villa will be without Frederic Guilbert after he was booked against Manchester United - which means he’s suspended for one game due to the accumulation of yellow cards.

Anwar El Ghazi could also miss the visit to Stamford Bridge after he hobbled off in the draw to Manchester United at the weekend - he remains a doubt.

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It’s been a rocky few weeks for Chelsea - two defeats on the trot has meant they are starting to the feel the sides below chasing and getting closer to the top four.

A 1-0 defeat to West Ham saw the Blues not score a goal at Stamford Bridge for the first time since the start of January, when they had a stalemate with Southampton in West London.

Prior to the defeats to Manchester City and West Ham, Frank Lampard’s side has won their previous six games in the Premier League.

But their away record is far superior, which’ll give Aston Villa hope when they make the trip down to West London.

Dean Smith’s side are unbeaten in their last two [Newcastle United and Manchester United] following a run of three straight defeats in the Premier League [Wolves, Liverpool and Manchester City] .

Head-to-head

Chelsea have a handsome record against the Villans and since 2010, the two clubs have faced each other 13 times in the Premier League. In that time, Villa have only managed to get past the Blues on two occasions, with Chelsea winning nine of those 13 encounters.

Frank Lampard has fond memories of facing Aston Villa as a player after he became Chelsea’s highest goalscorer after netting two goals back in 2013 at Villa Park.

Last 5 - Chelsea vs Aston Villa | Premier League

15th March 2014 - Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea

27th September 2014 - Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa

7th February 2015 - Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea

17th October 2015 - Chelsea 2-0 Aston Villa

2nd April 2016 - Aston Villa 0-4 Chelsea

Prediction:

Chelsea will be looking to put their two defeats behind them, and kickstart their heavy schedule over the festive period. Games are coming thick and fast for the Blues in December, so Frank Lampard’s side will be hoping to gain momentum heading into crucial fixtures either side of Christmas.

But Villa won’t be coming to Stamford Bridge to make up the numbers. The newly-promoted side have seven points on the road this term, with their most recent point coming at Old Trafford.

There’s going to be goals in this. Both sides have defences which have a tendency to concede goals.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa

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