Seems like a long one, this one-week break, isn’t it?
A lot has changed at Chelsea Football Club since we drew 1-1 at Bridge last weekend against Manchester City.
Andre Schurrle has left the club for Wolfsburg (I am still not over this transfer! Come back Schurrle!) while Mohamed Salah has been loaned to Fiorentina. As we all had been speculating since the start of this transfer window, the Colombian star Juan Cuadrado did join us minutes before the deadline making this window a successful one, as far as we are concerned.
I never knew 7 days can ever seem this long!
But what’s done is done! Let’s get back to real football now because it’s the time we all have been waiting for. It’s the time for some exciting Premier League action when Chelsea travel to Villa Park to square up against Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa in a hope to wrap up the all-important three points!
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea have had a great first half of the season, but we haven’t quite managed to replicate that form in 2015. With Cesc Fabregas probably unavailable due to the hamstring injury and Diego Costa suspended because ‘we are the destroyers of football’, we are far off from our strongest squad. Still, coming up against Aston Villa, we are expected to wrap up this fixture in our favour quite easily.
On the other hand, Aston Villa are having a horrendous time in the Premier League. After a brilliant start to the campaign which saw them climb to 3rd spot at one time, Paul Lambert’s men have struggled to keep up with the expectations. With just 11 top-flight goals and none in the last 612 minutes of football, the host are having a nightmarish time and coming up against the league leaders might be the last thing they would wish for at this point of time!
With both teams in desperate need for a win, let’s get on with the key player battles which are most likely to influence the outcome of this game:
EDEN HAZARD vs ALAN HUTTON –
In the absence of Diego Costa and probably Cesc Fabregas as well, the Belgian will be the key for the Blues going forward when Chelsea takes on Aston Villa tomorrow.
Eden Hazard, tipped by many as the next big thing in world football, has been unplayable as of late. The winger with his speed, dribbling skills and the uncanny capability to draw fouls on him has been at his very best for Chelsea this season. His ability to completely destroy the opposition full backs, regardless of how good they are, makes him one of the most exciting talents to look out for in Europe.
Coming up against Alan Hutton, the Belgian would know if he can continue his extraordinary form, there wouldn’t be much the 30-year-old Scotsman be able to do to stop the winger from cutting inside and causing havoc in the opposition defense.
With Aston Villa and Paul Lambert already in such a tough spot, a swashbuckling Eden Hazard running towards their goal post, with his twinkle feet is probably the last thing they would need making this battle between the Belgian and Alan Hutton a must to look out for!
CIARAN CLARK vs LOIC REMY –
No Diego Costa? No problem!
From virtually no world class forwards to two world class forwards in a span of one season is a commendable business from Mourinho and Co.
With Diego Costa still serving his 3 match ban and also because the whole world hates us, we would still have to wait a bit for the Spaniard to make his return to the pitch. But that shouldn’t be much of a problem when we have got an able replacement in Loic Remy, eh?
The Frenchman made the start against Manchester City last weekend and scored our only goal before being subbed off for Didier Drogba. Coming up against Ciaran Clark and Co. the striker would look to use his pace to run in behind the Centre-Back and penetrate into dangerous positions to receive the through balls from midfield.
It could well turn into quite a difficult affair for Clark to control the pace of Remy and stop him from getting behind him making this battle the one to look out for!
KURT ZOUMA vs CHRISTIAN BENTEKE –
Finally, Kurt Zouma would have someone of his size to square up against. As it was getting quite easy for the defender to bully down everyone he came up against. eh?
Although it was quite fun, I must admit that!
The 20-year-old French Centre-Back has been a revelation for the Blues in the second half of the season. Frankly, no one expected the youngster to start ahead of Gary Cahill but a dip in form from the Englishman has seen Zouma start alongside Terry and impress us in the defense with some very good performance. (Remind you of someone? Mourinho-Real Madrid-Varane?)
Although, saying Aston Villa have been dire in front of the goal would be an understatement, but if Paul Lambert’s men hope to turn their tides around, the big Belgian is obviously the one they would look up to in providing that spark up front. Heavily built, good in the air and with fairly good speed for a Striker, Benteke could be a handful for Kurt Zouma when he comes up against him tomorrow. Do watch out for it!
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Edited By: Harshal