Chelsea vs Aston Villa Live Football Score 01/04/2023

Chelsea vs Aston Villa Live Football Score 01/04/2023

The international break never not feels eternal, but they do all eventually end, and this latest one is no exception. And so Chelsea are back, and while the last game before the break was a disappointment, we are in fact working on a four-match unbeaten run, with three wins. Spring has sprung and hope springs eternal, so perhaps hope has sprung as well. That’s a logical fallacy, but never mind.

What does give some more tangible hope is the expected availabilities of Reece James, Wesley Fofana, and Raheem Sterling, all three of whom have been back in training this week after missing out on international duty due to injuries. N’Golo Kanté and Mason Mount should be getting close as well, with the former already back on the bench prior to the break. In fact, barring any surprise updates from the head coach in the upcoming pre-match press conference, the only notable absentee for this weekend should (“should”) be Thiago Silva, with young Armando Broja also continuing to rehab his ACL.

Finance expert Kieran Maguire writes that the Londoners are the first team in the league’s history to go over the £1bn pre-tax loss mark. The next closest ‘challenger’ is Manchester City with £714m of loss. This, on top of the other financial indicators, only adds up to show just how far the new regime have to go to put Chelsea on the map in this sense. Chelsea pair Reece James and Kai Havertz are available despite returning from their national teams early due to injury and illness respectively. Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante will also be in the squad but Christian Pulisic is a doubt and this game comes too soon for Raheem Sterling and Wesley Fofana.

Boubacar Kamara is fit for Villa after two matches out with an ankle injury. Leander Dendoncker also returns. Matty Cash will be sidelined for at least two weeks with a calf injury. I have to put my hands up and admit I’ve got Aston Villa wrong under Unai Emery. It felt to me like Villa had made a bit of progress since he replaced Steven Gerrard at the end of October but I found out this week that only three teams – Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United – have picked up more points since his first game in charge, a 3-1 win over United on 6 November. That stat surprised me, although I do always think of Villa as being dangerous. They carry a threat, whoever they play.

In contrast, I keep asking myself why I keep going for Chelsea – they have done much better in the table based on my predictions than in real life – and I guess they have pulled the wool over my eyes all season. You can call me stubborn if you like but I am still going to stick with the Blues now because I do think they are getting better. Two mid-table sides with an identical Premier League points tally after 27 matches lock horns at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening, as Chelsea play host to Aston Villa. The Blues occupy 10th spot following a 2-2 draw with Everton before the international break, while the Lions are one place worse off thanks to a 3-0 success over Bournemouth.

Chelsea and Todd Boehly have had yet another stark reality check as the true scale of their financial accounts is pieced together after the latest figures. The Blues released the figures for the 2021/22 term, stating a £121.3m loss on the books. It is the third time in four years that the club have registered a loss of over £100m. Considering Boehly and Co have stated ambitions to reach a revenue of £1bn, which would be more than double the £481.3m from the season just past, it is a big challenge. Furthermore, looking further back into the figures and Chelsea have already reached a landmark of that size, but not quite in the way the new owners were expecting. With their latest accounts, Chelsea’s total losses since the Premier League’s inaugral season have now gone past £1bn.

Just when the pressure on Graham Potter’s shoulders was slowly being lifted, the under-fire Englishman once again felt the full force of fans’ frustrations, as Everton twice came from behind to travel back to Merseyside with a point in the bag. Following a goalless and largely forgettable opening 45 minutes, Joao Felix and Kai Havertz put Chelsea ahead on two separate occasions, but Everton struck back both times through Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ellis Simms, who bagged his first Toffees goal on the 89-minute mark. That four-goal stalemate quickly snapped a three-game winning run for the Blues, who are perennial occupants of 10th place in the standings, but Liverpool – who boast a game in hand – are only four points better off in sixth place.

While hopes of Champions League qualification are surely too far-fetched for Potter’s crop, the consolation prize of Europa League football is a distinct possibility for the Blues, who are now at least unbeaten in four games and have scored at least twice in each of their last three contests. Inconsistency on their own patch continues to bedevil Chelsea too, as only three of their last nine Premier League home matches has ended in victory, and only 26 top-flight goals have been scored at Stamford Bridge this term – the fewest out of all 20 grounds.

Prior to their trip to Villa Park, Bournemouth had fought valiantly against Manchester City, were agonisingly close to denying league leaders Arsenal and comfortably kept Liverpool at bay in a 1-0 win over the Reds, but Unai Emery’s side enjoyed plenty of bites at the Cherries. Taking just seven minutes to draw first blood through Douglas Luiz, patience was soon the name of the game for Villa, but the Lions struck twice more in the final 10 minutes through Jacob Ramsey and Emiliano Buendia to put Bournemouth to the sword with aplomb. With 10 points to show from their last four Premier League matches, the international break arguably came at the worst time for the 11th-placed Lions, who only sit behind Chelsea on goal difference and could break into the top half should results go their way this weekend.

Since the ex-Arsenal boss returned to the Premier League landscape, Villa have scored in all of their 16 competitive matches under Emery, and the last time they went five top-flight games unbeaten, the fifth game in that pattern was a 1-1 draw away to Chelsea. However, the Blues ran out 2-0 winners at Villa Park back in October – largely thanks to some inspired goalkeeping by Kepa Arrizabalaga – and only one of the Lions’ last 17 trips to Stamford Bridge has ended in victory.

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