It’s fair to assume Aston Villa fans will feel less fear from the visit of Premier League leaders Chelsea than most Premier League sides – Blues boss Jose Mourinho hasn’t managed a victory at their ground in five attempts stretching back over a decade.
The Portuguese’s last two visits to this part of the Midlands have ended in Villa wins to nil, including last season when Fabien Delph turned the screw in between Brazilian Blues pair Willian and Ramires being sent off.
Optimistic punters can get behind another win to nil for Paul Lambert’s side at 35/4 with bwin.com, while the hosts merely avoiding defeat is available at 21/10 in the double-chance market.
Here are three reasons why that’s a big price…
Chelsea are ropier on the road than their top-of-the-league status suggests
Prior to the 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City recently, Chelsea had taken maximum points from all ten of their top-flight Stamford Bridge fixtures so far in 2014/15.
This has papered over the cracks away from home, where Mourinho’s charges have failed to collect all three points from half of their 12 matches, losing twice.
Aston Villa have lost just one of their last eight at home
They struggle to score and rarely win, but Villa’s 2-0 defeat to LIverpool last time out on their own patch in the Premier League was their first such defeat since the start of November.
Lambert’s side’s past four in front of the faithful have contained fewer than three goals. Under 2.5 again can be backed at 39/50 with bwin.com.
The Blues have failed to win the past two fixtures Cesc Fabregas has missed…and they were at home
To be fair, one of these was a draw with second-placed City, but that snapped a ten-game winning run in the league at home, so the form is relevant.
However, there’s no doubt that evidence from Chelsea’s previous Fabregas-less fixture, the 4-2 FA Cup loss at home to Bradford, holds weight. Punt accordingly.