Capital club Chelsea will continue scoring in the Second City
The last two Premier League meetings between Aston Villa and Chelsea in the West Midlands have seen the Blues net double their hosts’ total.
Odds on Jose Mourinho’s men winning and both teams scoring are an attractive 14/5. Punters that fancy 2-1 to the away side, which was how this fixture ended last term, and Chelsea grinding out victory at Villa Park will be rewarded at Coral with a price of 15/2.
If it’s the scorer markets that interest you, then Branislav Ivanovic is brilliant value. The Blues’ Serbian defender has netted four times in his last three appearances against Villa. Back Ivanovic to be on target again anytime at 7/1.
Veteran Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, who has 15 in 33 career outings against this opposition, scored a winning brace on their last visit to Villa. He is 10/1 to repeat the feat or better it here.
Naturally, the Premier League leaders are odds-on at 1/2 for a victory that would extend their advantage to nine or 10 points, depending on the outcome of Hull’s home game with Manchester City.
West Midlands outfit Villa are 6/1 outsiders for a win (they have tasted victory in just four matches on their own turf this term) and a draw is 3/1.
Paul Lambert’s lads are six points above the relegation zone. If they are to score themselves, then look to Christian Benteke, who showed signs of recovery by bagging a brace against Norwich last time out, or Leandro Bacuna. Back the big Belgian at 2/1 anytime or the versatile Dutchman, who is 13/2 for a goal.
Villa have won just twice in their last eight Premier League encounters at home, while Chelsea are unbeaten on the road since losing to Sunderland in the Capital One Cup in December.
There is also some value in backing an early goal. An opener has been scored in the first 10 minutes in three of the last four meetings. Take odds of 29/10 on this happening again here. Each of those occasions has seen Blues fans celebrating, so 5/1 on Chelsea netting first in 1-10 bracket are an even better price.
Lambert will see his backline weakened by the fact Ryan Bertrand is ineligible against his parent club. Wingback Antonio Luna, who simply looks incapable of defending, or Joe Bennett (missed much of the winter with a back problem) are in line to deputise.
Hosts Villa could either play with a back four or three. Whichever way they set up tactically, it will make little difference. Back away day delight for Chelsea.