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Guus Hiddink
Guus Hiddink likely to give his fringe players a chance to perform.Getty Images

Chelsea travel to the Villa Park on Saturday, 2 April as the Blues look to close the gap on an European spot, having all but exhausted their options to qualify for the Champions League next season. The Blues are currently 10 points behind Manchester City for the fourth spot and need a miracle of gigantic proportions to get anywhere near the required points tally to make it through.

Where to Watch

Kick-off is set for 12:45pm BST. Live coverage of the game will be on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 1 HD. Highlights of the game will be available on BBC Match of the Day at 10:25pm BST on BBC One.

Overview

Aston Villa have gone through a tumultuous period in the league this season and there is unlikely to be any sort of respite for the Villans who have all but confirmed their participation in the Championship next season.

Bookmakers have already stopped taking money on Villa's relegation, a sorry state of affairs at a club which is among the five teams from England to have won the European Cup. Villa are currently 11 points from safety and with seven games left in the season, they will be looking to prepare for the next season.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are all set to play spoilsport this season, with games against teams at the top of the table lined up before the end of the season. The Blues, with only eight games left, can only hope for a top-six finish and compete in the Europa League next season, having crashed out of the round of 16 tie of the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain.

Guus Hiddink's men have not lost a Premier League game since the end of December, but have drawn an inordinate number of games thus far, which has stunted their advance up the table. Striker Diego Costa remains unavailable for the fixture due to extension of his suspension to three games for a transgression against Everton.

What Managers Say

Eric Black: "First and foremost, I want to thank Rémi for bringing me into the Club. It's a fantastic football Club and he's given me a great opportunity to work here. I found him an exceptional individual and an exceptional coach under very difficult circumstances. I think I have forged a friendship with him and have enjoyed working with him. But now we move on. The Club has to move on. Rémi will move on. Aston Villa will be Aston Villa and hopefully we can take the first steps - whether small or large - to take the Club back to where the supporters, especially, want to see it. Let's move on to Saturday and focus on what we can do to repair any damage that has been done."

Guus Hiddink:"Will he be actively involved? We will see tomorrow. We have now eight games coming up, but there isn't much to play for so it might be time for experiments. He[Pato] has worked very hard in the international break. I have tried to make fair judgement and give others knocking on the door - like Traore - fair opportunity as well."

Betting Odds (betfair)

  • Aston Villa Win: 11/2
  • Draw: 13/4
  • Chelsea Win: 3/5

Team News

Aston Villa

Possible XI: Guzan; Hutton, Richards, Lescott, Cissokho; Veretout, Westwood, Gueye, Gil, Ayew; Gestede

Chelsea

Possible XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Pedro; Traore