After showing vast improvement over the past few weeks to somewhat ease relegation fears, 10/3 Aston Villa may see support to justify home advantage against a Chelsea side with a Europa League final weighing on their minds.
But the Villans’ tendency to concede remains a huge cause for concern, and it is for that reason that the Blues must remain the standout match betting pick at 4/5.
Villa have won their past two games in succession, and three of their last five, but it is of huge concern that they have failed to keep a clean sheet in any competition since early December, a period including 25 matches.
Add in that Chelsea triumphed via an 8-0 scoreline in the reverse fixture earlier this term, and the fact that they have put 22 past their hosts within the past six league meetings of the pair, and a high-scoring away success appears likely.
It is worth noting that only champions Manchester United have registered more times than the Blues this term, so backing them to win a match involving at least 2.5 goals at 31/20 looks a wise move.
And that bet is strengthened by Villa’s plethora of attacking options, spearheaded by 22-goal Christian Benteke, who should go some way to ensure the home side at least breach the top flight’s joint third-meanest defence.
Benteke has been responsible for seven of the 18 goals Villa have bagged in their last eight outings, and is 15/8 to strike within the 90 minutes here, whilst his presence would seem to bolster the chances of both teams scoring in an away victory, which is a 23/10 shot.
But whilst Paul Lambert’s men look likely to at least notch, they may be unable to prevent a heavy defeat as Chelsea aim to all but secure Champions League qualification.
In all of their last three league triumphs over Villa, the Blues have overcome a theoretical one-goal disadvantage, and are 2/1 to do so again in handicap markets.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.