By: Fasika Zelealem
Chelsea Odds Preview Against Aston Villa
The return of the English Premier League immediately thrusts Chelsea back into their chase of UEFA Champions League football. Before the suspension of the league occurred, Chelsea sat fourth in the table and three points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United and five points behind third-placed Leicester City.
Chelsea’s last league game was a 4-0 home win over Everton, a win that was their second in three games following a poor run of just one win in their last six games including losses to both Newcastle United and Manchester United.
The London club is one of many who would have benefitted from the extended break as players who may not have been fit for the rest of the season have had time to recover from injury and play a part for the rest of the season.
The likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and N’Golo Kante are back in training and are big additions to the Chelsea side as they look to confirm their participation in the Champions League next season in Frank Lampard’s first year as manager.
Manchester United is one side who’s massively benefitted from this as Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford who looked set to miss United’s final stretch of the season are now back fit and ready to help them qualify for the Champions League after a year out of Europe’s top club competition.
How Will Aston Villa Look Upon Return to Action
Chelsea’s opponents on Sunday have very much different aspirations for the rest of the season. Aston Villa played the first game back since the return of the league where they drew 0-0 at home to Sheffield United.
They were lucky however to claim a point after Oliver Norwood’s free-kick fell beyond the goal line of Aston Villa but according to goal-line technology, the ball didn’t cross the line and a goal was not given.
Villa, who sits 19th in the table is a favorite for relegation and sportsbooks has them returning to the Sky Bet Championship after just one season in the top-flight at odds of -300.
They suffered four consecutive defeats until the suspension of the league where they lost 4-0 to Leicester City back in March. Despite their poor form, they remain just one point from safety and have the same points total as 16th placed West Ham United.
Can Chelsea’s Incoming Signings Boost Their Chances of UCL Qualification?
Chelsea confirmed the summer signing of Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech back in January and today secured the signing of RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, beating Liverpool to the punch.
Not only are they two top talents who immediately improve the quality of Chelsea, but they also cost a combined £78.6 million; to demonstrate the incredible business that is, Arsenal signed Nicolas Pepe and the disastrous David Luiz for £80 million, amazing right?
Chelsea possesses odds of -150 to make the top four and the signings of Ziyech and Werner who arrive in summer will only drive the Chelsea squad to deliver European football to two players who’ve played in the competition with Werner making the quarterfinals this season with Leipzig.
For the game on Sunday, it’s only worse news for Aston Villa whose last win against Chelsea came back in 2014. Since then, they’ve lost five consecutive league games to Chelsea including a 2-1 loss in the reverse fixture back in December.
Sportsbooks odds on Chelsea to defeat Aston Villa open at -188, while Villa’s odds to win in their second game back since the restart opens at +450. Odds on a tie opens at +333.