Chelsea resume their Premier League campaign at Villa Park on Sunday and Paul Robinson thinks they will be frustrated by the hosts...
They didn’t play too badly against the Blades, and they had nearly three times as many shots – almost half of which were on target.
Aston Villa v Chelsea
Sunday 21 June, 16:15
Live on Sky Sports
Minutes in the bank for Villa players
Aston Villa were involved in the first Premier League match back, earning a point in a 0-0 draw against Sheffield United.
The 90 minutes will have given the players a good blow, and while the team who has the longest gap in-between games usually has a slight advantage, I feel like it could be the other way round this time.
Dean Smith's side will not only have improved their match-fitness, they also have the experience of playing in this new, unique atmosphere.
That being said, they lacked quality against the Blades, and even the returning John McGinn, couldn't inspire them to victory - or even a goal.
The notable take-aways from the match were that Nyland replaced Reina in goal, Keinan Davis got a start over the likes of Mbwana Samatta, and despite the clean sheet, the defensive lapses remain.
Abraham has to prove himself again
The Blues have kept themselves busy during the break, with the signing of Timo Werner, announced last week. He will be a great addition to the squad for next season, and it will certainly give Tammy Abraham some extra motivation for the remainder of this one.
Frank Lampard's men need to finish off with a few wins though, otherwise Werner won't be playing in the Champions League next season.
A top five place will likely be enough given Manchester City's ban, but Manchester United, Sheffield United and Wolves aren't too far behind, and Leicester have a five point advantage over them.
Jorginho is suspended as he completes a suspension, Fiikayo Tomori is injured and Callum Hudson-Odoi isn't fit enough to be involved.
Visitors too short on return
The visitors are the 1.558/15 favourites and if this was three months ago, I would probably say that it was a fair price. Chelsea were in good form then and Villa were sinking into the abyss.
All of that has gone out of the window now though, and I really believe that even though Villa only played on Wednesday night, they will get an advantage from it.
They didn't play too badly against the Blades, and they had nearly three times as many shots - almost half of which were on target.
Dean Smith's side are available to back at 6.25/1, but I'm leaning more towards the draw at 4.94/1. Chelsea had actually drawn three of their last four away matches prior to the break, and they had won just two of their last eight.
Value to be had on Under 2.5
Goals are fancied at Villa Park as Over 2.5 is as short as 1.635/8 on the Betfair Exchange, with the Under trading at around the 2.486/4 mark.
Again, we have to almost ignore what has gone before, and focus on the current set of conditions the league is operating under.
The average goals per game has dropped slightly in the Bundesliga since it returned, and there has certainly been a drop in intensity.
I'm definitely happy to back the underdog in this market, and even if I end up being completely wrong, I will still think it was a good value bet.
Key Opta Stat
Chelsea haven't won any of their four away Premier League games in 2020 (D3 L1), having won seven of their previous nine on the road (L2). They last had a longer winless run away from home between September-December 2015 (7 games).
2019/20 P/L (1pt each bet)
New on Betting.Betfair – Betslip
You can now bet without leaving Betting.Betfair with our brand new on-site betslip for Exchange markets. You'll see the Exchange back and lay prices at the end of articles - simply login and place your bets as you would do on the main Exchange site
Back The Draw @ 4.94/1
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.486/4