Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Aston Villa vs Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday (kick-off 4.15pm).
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John McGinn will be assessed ahead of Aston Villa's clash with Chelsea on Sunday. The midfielder played 76 minutes of Wednesday's 0-0 draw with Sheffield United, his first game since December after recovering from a fractured ankle and boss Dean Smith is wary of overloading him.
Danny Drinkwater cannot feature under the terms of his loan from Chelsea, Bjorn Engels (Achilles), Wesley (knee) and Tom Heaton (knee) are out, but Frederic Guilbert (knee) has returned to training.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek could make his first Chelsea appearance of the season at Villa Park. The England midfielder's campaign has been ravaged by the protracted recovery from a torn Achilles tendon, but he is now ready for Premier League action.
Fikayo Tomori will miss out with a muscle injury sustained in training, with Callum Hudson-Odoi also not ready for competitive action, but N'Golo Kante should be available.
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- Aston Villa have lost nine of their last 10 Premier League games against Chelsea, winning the other at Villa Park in March 2014.
- Chelsea have won their last five league games against Aston Villa, their best winning run against the Villans.
- Aston Villa have taken just two points from their last 63 available against 'big-six' Premier League sides, (W0 D2 L19), drawing with Man City in November 2015, and with Man Utd this season.
- Aston Villa have won on six of the seven days of the week in the Premier League this season, with the only exception being Sunday. A win here will see them become just the second team in top-flight history to win a match on all seven days of the week within a season, after Tottenham in 1986-87.
- After a run of eight straight wins, Chelsea lost their last Premier League game against a side in the relegation zone, going down 1-3 at Everton in December. They've not lost consecutive such games since January 2011 (vs Birmingham and Wolves).
All of a sudden the relegation picture can change massively at the weekend. If Bournemouth win and West Ham earn a point, Villa will have to take a bit more of a risk. Jack Grealish played well against Sheffield United, while John McGinn got 60-65 minutes under his belt.
There is absolutely nothing inspiring either up front or on the wings. Grealish can pick a pass, but you need people to work and run in behind.
McGinn can do that, and so can Conor Hourihane. He works well with Grealish. Get them two to make the runs in behind and it will give them a chance.
Chelsea are not the greatest at defending that scenario but they can counter-attack. Villa need to gamble. Mason Mount and Billy Gilmour could stay in the team, Tammy Abraham will be fit and fresh, and Olivier Giroud will want to do something, but there is nothing at the end of the summer to play for, so it is a sprint finish. I can see Chelsea picking Villa off.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-3 (11/1 with Sky Bet)
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