Frank Lampard has lost his battle to be fit in time for the Aston Villa game and is expected to miss a further two weeks.
Didier Drogba also misses the game with Villa after contracting a fever, which means Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda and Gael Kakuta will start in the forward three for Chelsea.
Chelsea have performed well in the absence of Lampard with Michael Essien deputising for the midfielder, but the combined loss of Lampard and Drogba opens the door for Villa to steal a result.
Lampard has scored more goals against Villa, 9, than any other team and Drogba is Chelsea’s joint top scorer this season with 6 goals.
Aston Villa are 4/1 to win in the evening kick off, and that’s a big price considering Villa have lost just one of their previous 12 Premier League home matches, and only one of their previous 11 home games against Chelsea.
That victory came in 2008/09 season when Chelsea sneaked a 1-0 victory and the Blues are 4/5 to win.
Only Manchester City have prevented Chelsea from scoring this season, and the Blues will be looking to Malouda to get the goals to increase their lead at the top of the Premier League – Malouda is 6/4 to score any time.
Last season the sides competed three times and the games produced 14 goals and you can back over 2.5 goals at 5/6.
Aston Villa won 2-1 in this fixture last year and the same result is 14/1 but Villa have thrown away eight points from winning positions this season and they are 15/2 to be leading at half time and not win.
Considering Villa score 78% of their goals in the first half, there is a real possibility Chelsea may have to come from behind if they want to win and are 8/1 to do so.
The draw is available at 9/4. See the full Aston Villa vs Chelsea match betting odds market here.