Chelsea host Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge, as the Blues look to return to third position in the Premier League, after missing out on last week's action owing to their involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.

Meanwhile, the Villans, who are currently three points clear of the drop zone, will be buoyant after their impressive 3-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield last week.


Where to Watch Live

The match will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD from 4pm GMT. Live radio commentary is available on BBC Radio 5 Live.


Chelsea's interim boss Rafael Benitez will be relieved after his side's 5-1 win over Leeds United in the quarter-finals of the League Cup in midweek, after a dismal performance in the Club World Cup final, where they lost 1-0 to Brazilian champions Corinthians.

Benitez goes into the Villa game looking for his second Premier League victory, after the 3-1 triumph over Sunderland two weeks ago. Prior to that, the Spaniard had gone three league matches without a win. Chelsea are currently in seventh spot, one point behind third-placed Arsenal, having played two games fewer than the Gunners.

Villa, on the other hand, have finally found their feet in the league under new boss Paul Lambert and are currently on a five-match unbeaten run. The Scot, who took over at Villa Park in the summer, has now reduced the average age of the club's starting line-up from 28 years to 23, which is the youngest in the league.

Their performances against Liverpool and Arsenal over the past few weeks are testament to the young squad's growing confidence and Lambert will be hoping for more of the same against Chelsea, who have been involved in four matches in the last two weeks, including that trip to Japan. Villa will be buoyed by their record at Stamford Bridge, having lost only twice in their last five visits.

Form Guide


  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W L W W W
  • Last Match: Leeds United 1-5 Chelsea

Aston Villa

  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W W D D W
  • Last Match: Liverpool 1-3 Aston Villa

Team News

Chelsea: Benitez will welcome back Gary Cahill and Ramires from suspension, with both players expected to start. However, captain John Terry, who is recuperating from a knee injury, remains sidelined along with Oriol Romeu, who is out for the season (anterior cruciate ligament).

John Obi Mikel will serve the last of his three-match suspension, while Ryan Bertrand is a doubt, after being forced off in midweek. Meanwhile, Daniel Sturrdige is expected to miss out again as talks continue over his future at the west London club.

Probable Line-Up (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Moses, Mata, Hazard; Torres

Aston Villa: Lambert has a host of injury problems, with Richard Dunne (groin), Darren Bent and Craig Gardner (both knee) all remaining sidelined. Meanwhile, captain Ron Vlaar (calf) and Gabriel Agbonlahor are doubtful for this game but Steven Ireland returns to the squad.

Probable Line-Up (3-5-2): Guzan; Herd, Clark, Baker; Lowton, Westwood, Bannan, Holman, Lichaj; Weimann, Benteke