Premier League Preview: Chelsea v Aston Villa
By Football News
Aston Villa travel to Chelsea on Wednesday full of confidence, and desperate to atone for last season's 8-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge.
Paul Lambert's side go into the game having secured the shock of the Premier League's opening day, winning 3-1 away to Arsenal, but face the team who inflicted their heaviest defeat of last season.
Chelsea will also be in confident mood ahead of their second game at home in four days. They brushed aside Premier League new boys Hull City on Sunday in Jose Mourinho's Premier League return and will be hoping to do the same with Villa.
The fixture was originally scheduled for August 31, but was moved due to Chelsea's involvement in the UEFA Super Cup a day earlier.
Villa have taken a win and a draw from two of their last four visits to Stamford Bridge, however the two defeats have been heavy: 8-0 and 7-1.
The pair's head-to-head league record is exactly even with each having recorded 50 wins and Villa captain Ron Vlaar believes his side can spring a surprise and make up for last season's embarrassment.
"If you can win at the Emirates, of course it is a great start. We want to do it again on Wednesday now," Vlaar said. "We all know (remember) what happened last year, so we want to put that to rest.
"We learnt a lot and we still have to learn a lot, but mentally we became a stronger team.
"But it is the start of the season and nobody really knows a lot about each other."
Mourinho only lost once to Villa during his first spell in charge, in the penultimate Premier League game of his first tenure, and his return to England got off to the perfect start with the victory over Steve Bruce's side.
The Portuguese coach has an almost fully fit squad to choose from, with David Luiz a doubt having also missed Sunday's triumph and Nathaniel Chalobah having picked up a knock while representing England Under-21s a week ago.
Nathan Baker is the only new injury concern for Paul Lambert, the central defender limped out of the Arsenal victory with an ankle injury that leaves him a doubt for Wednesday.
Yacouba Sylla, Chris Herd and Charles N'Zogbia all missed the opening day and are unlikely to feature at Stamford Bridge.