After the very late postponement of Villa’s last home fixture against Burnley, coming just 2 hours before kick off, it remains a watch and wait for the visit of Chelsea at 5:30pm.
As things stand, Villa are known to have a number of positive Covid cases in the camp, in addition to individual isolations and routine injuries.
Further to this came the news late on Christmas Day that boss Steven Gerrard will miss both the home clash against Chelsea and the trip to Elland Road in 2 days time. Gerrard has tested positive for Covid and must now isolate for at least the next two fixtures.
- Keinan Davis, Marvelous Nakamba, Morgan Sanson, Bertrand Traore and Leon Bailey are all unavailable for Villa.
- Chelsea had as many as 8 Covid positive players last week, but they are now back in amongst the squad.
- Hudson-Odoi and Lukaku are fit and return for the visitors.
- Chelsea had been top of the table in November but are on a run of just 3 wins in 8.
- Thomas Tuchel has managed just 1 win in 3 against Villa.
- Villa did win the clash at The Bridge earlier this season 3-0.
- Villa could go as high as 8th with a victory.
- Chelsea would go joint 2nd with Liverpool if victorious.
PREDICTIONEmbed from Getty Images
With player availability unclear this is a tough one to call. Also, Gerrard is an animated figure on the touchline and has been instrumental with half-time team talks since his arrival in the dressing room. With that said, Villa are in good form and have decent Boxing Day form in recent years. Chelsea are without doubt a good side, but haven’t hit the highs of early season form of late.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea