Chelsea v Aston Villa: Blues to win to nil

Chelsea resume their Premier League title challenge against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge and Paul Robinson is expecting them to have a comfortable Saturday evening.

Blues are the real deal

It feels like ages ago now but Chelsea's 1-1 draw at Anfield proved that they were undoubtedly title contenders this season, as while they had to play the whole of the second half with 10 men, Liverpool never really looked like scoring, and it was the Blues themselves who arguably had the best scoring opportunities.

Thomas Tuchel's side return to action against Aston Villa, and with the Champions League starting this week, and then fixtures against Spurs and Man City coming up, they will be keen to get another three points on the board to keep their momentum going.

Reece James is banned following his hotly debated Anfield red, and there are slight doubts about N'Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku. The latter is the more likely to play out of the two, but they both could easily start. However Thiago Silva will definitely be missing due to his involvement with the Brazil squad.

Absence of key players to hurt Villa

Dean Smith's Villa are still adjusting to life post Jack Grealish, and they have started the campaign with a win, a draw and a defeat. They were very lethargic in their opening day 3-2 loss at Vicarage Road, and while they have taken four points since then, they would have hoped for better overall, given their kind run of fixtures.

They travel to Stamford Bridge without Argentina duo Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia, which has to be considered a huge loss. The former has been phenomenal since his move from Arsenal, and the latter opened his Villa account against Brentford last time.

There is also a doubt over the fitness of Ezri Konsa, so the Villa side on Saturday will likely be a far cry from their first choice XI.

Look beyond the Match Odds

The hosts are big favourites to pick up the victory at Stamford Bridge, with their price trading at around the 1.32 mark on the Betfair Exchange.

The draw is as high as 5.9, while the visitors are the big outsiders at 13.0.

It's hard to argue against those prices, as Chelsea under Tuchel are a bit of a machine. They have so much strength in depth now, and the German has them playing in such an efficient manner.

Even a full-strength Villa would struggle to get a result on Saturday, but I'm not going to recommend a bet at 1.32.

I do however like a home win to nil, which can be backed at around 1.92 on the Exchange. Clean sheets have been a regular occurrence under Tuchel, and with no Buendia pulling the strings for Villa, it's hard to see them scoring.

Key Opta Stat

Since Thomas Tuchel's first game in charge of Chelsea, only Manchester City (51) have won more Premier League points than the Blues (45 - W13 D6 L3). The Blues also have the meanest defence in that run (excluding the promoted sides) with just 14 goals conceded.

Chelsea to just do enough

Given that I fancy a home clean sheet, I think that Under 2.5 Goals offers a bit of value at 2.12. Chelsea aren't the kind of side to go all guns blazing - the three points is enough - and they have some big games coming up after this one.

If Lukaku isn't quite match-fit, he's unlikely to get the full 90 minutes, even if he does indeed start, and since he was appointed as manager in January, Chelsea have played 11 home league games under Tuchel, and eight of them have gone Under 2.5.

I can understand why some people will think that the 1.86 for Over 2.5 is definitely worth a bet, especially given some of Villa's scorelines, but it just doesn't appeal to me at all.

Bet Builder

For my Bet Builder, I am going to take inspiration from the fantastic Football...Only Bettor Betfair Podcast and start it with a Chelsea win and Under 3.5 Goals.

If we then add in Under 10.5 corners and John McGinn to be booked, we get a Bet Builder at odds of 14/1.

McGinn has been yellow carded in 15 of his 67 Premier League appearances, and he will be up against a Chelsea team who have plenty of possession.

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