ASTON VILLA host Chelsea on Super Sunday in the Premier League. Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) analyses the encounter.
Aston Villa vs Chelsea | Sunday 21st June 2020, 16:15 | Sky Sports
Aston Villa will be kicking themselves that they did not come away from Wednesday’s Premier League restart opener with all three points but, simultaneously, be feeling rather fortunate that they picked up any points at all.
Despite dominating the game for large periods and creating far more chances than their opponents, Villa had goal line technology not working at all in the first half to thank after Ørjan Nyland carried the ball across the line for a certain goal. The respective managers could laugh off the incident after the game but it could have huge ramifications in both the race for the Champions League and for survival.
Since losing Wesley to injury on New Year’s Day– a man that divided the fanbase as to his effectiveness on the team – Villa have struggled for goals, scoring two or more goals just three times in 12 matches.
Academy product Keinan Davis started the midweek match but despite a dogged performance, struggled in front of goal. If Villa are to stay in the Premier League next season, they need to find the right attacking combinations again, especially as Dean Smith has worked so hard to sort out a defence that was leaking goals at the start of the season.
Chelsea meanwhile head into this game on the back of a week where they announced the signing of Timo Werner from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, negotiating a cut-price deal for the striker in light of COVID-19’s impact on football finance.
Werner will add a much more ruthless streak in front of goal which has been missing for the Blues at times this season, particularly against teams that have come to park the bus at Stamford Bridge. Despite the relative troubles at the Bridge, Chelsea’s away form has been decent on the whole, picking up 1.71 points-per-game on their travels compared to 1.6 at home.
With no fans in the ground and Smith’s troops therefore missing their vocal Villa Park support, you would likely weight the game even more in Chelsea’s favour here but the general 1/2 on The Pensioners picking up three points is rather short.
The betting angles
I’m instead going to look into a couple of stat plays, the first being Over 3 Corners for Villa and Over 0.5 Chelsea Cards, priced at 11/10 with Bet365’s bet builder which is considerably shorter than evens with other bookies.
The Villans racked up an impressive 12 corners against Sheffield United and went on to create a massive 12 chances (of their 14 in total) from set-pieces. Their season average at home for flag kicks is 6.50 per match and with the pace and directness they play in wide areas in a 4-3-3 set-up, corners are often high in Villa games at both ends of the pitch.
On the Chelsea card element, the Blues have picked up at least one booking in 25 of their 29 Premier League fixtures this season and they’re likely to have plenty of players (mainly in the middle of the park) who certainly like to accumulate cards. If Chelsea are struggling to break Villa down, frustration could grow and see them adding to the 28 cards received in 14 away matches.
My second stat wager is again with Bet365’s bet builder – Over 0.5 Chelsea Goals in the Second-Half and Over 12.5 Free-Kicks for Aston Villa – priced at 13/10.
Given that Villa played midweek, they may start to tire as the game goes on here but it could also take Chelsea some time to settle down into their rhythm with it being their first taste of competitive action in over three months. No side in the top flight has conceded more second half goals than Villa’s 33, so I’m happy to include the Chelsea second 45 strike as part of this double.
On the free-kicks side, Villa certainly attract them! Their average free-kicks earned per match in 2020 has been 14.10 per game and it’s reached 13 or more in 10 of those 13 fixtures which is not too surprising with the likes of Grealish and El Ghazi in the team, two prolific dribblers.
In the reverse match, Chelsea gave away 18 fouls and may need to resort to the same tactics to stop any Villa breakaway attacks. It ties back to the card element in the previous bet too – if Lampard’s boys are fouling a fair few times then a card or two should follow suit from Paul Tierney.
Chelsea ultimately should prove too strong for the midlanders here but at this early stage of the resumption, I’m happy to let the outrights take its course and follow my nature in the stat markets where I think there’s often more value to be found.