Chelsea-Aston Villa Preview
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Thomas Tuchel insists Chelsea have no doubts over what they have to do as they aim to secure Champions League football by beating Aston Villa.
The Blues beat Leicester City in midweek to take themselves into third, on 67 points, one ahead of Liverpool and the Foxes, who face Crystal Palace and Tottenham respectably.
Chelsea need a win at Villa Park to guarantee their place in the top four, though a point would be enough if either Liverpool or Leicester slip up.
"For a long period of the game we will be in our bubble, but in the end, if we have results that change the amount of risk we need to take - because we're not leading or not comfortable with our lead - we need to know," Tuchel said.
"We need to be professional. If we need to adapt our risk management in the game, I think it's normal. It's in our hands and can decide things with a win.
"So we prepare to win the game but as you know, there can be a lot of twists and turns so we need to be ready for everything on our pitch.
"There are so many competitions and so many levels in these competitions. So it demanded a lot of different levels of concentration for us.
"It's what we worked for and it's still in our hands. We know how hard it is to play at Aston Villa but we are determined to do it."
Chelsea will face a Villa side featuring Jack Grealish, who started in the win at Tottenham after returning from injury.
"He has had no ill effects from the loading of match time and training time which is really pleasing," Dean Smith said.
"I thought he showed a real confidence and assuredness in his performance at Tottenham and hopefully we can see more of the same of that on Sunday."
Aston Villa - Ollie Watkins
Ollie Watkins has scored 14 Premier League goals for Villa this season - the last English player to score more in a single top-flight campaign for the Villans was David Platt in 1990-91 (19).
Chelsea - Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud has scored in each of his last seven Premier League appearances against Aston Villa, netting nine goals in total. Only Robin van Persie has ever scored in eight consecutive games against an opponent in the competition (vs Stoke City).
- Jorginho is Chelsea's top league goalscorer this season with seven goals - all of them from the penalty spot. The last top-flight season in which the Blues had such a low scoring top goalscorer was in 1974-75 (Ian Hutchinson, seven).
- Chelsea are unbeaten in each of their eight away league games under Tuchel (W6 D2), conceding just four goals in total and never more than once in a match.
- Villa have won 15 Premier League matches this season, six more than they won last season (9). This is the biggest rise in victories in consecutive Premier League seasons for Villa since they won 11 in 1994-95 and then 18 in 1995-96.
- Villa have not won their final league game in any of the last nine campaigns, since beating Liverpool 1-0 in 2010-11. However, the Villans are unbeaten when facing Chelsea in their last game (W3 D1), most recently winning 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on the closing day of the 2001-02 season.
- Chelsea have won their last three Premier League away games against Villa, last winning four in a row at Villa Park between 1995 and 1999.
Updated May 21, 2021