Following their midweek EFL Cup exploits, there is more cup action to come from Stamford Bridge on Friday night as Chelsea take on Aston Villa in the FA Cup (7.45pm). Can the hosts do better than they have done against Villa in recent times? Or will the visitors cause an upset, much as they did at this venue in the league back in September? This CFC vs AVFC preview, with its betting tips, aims to answer those questions.
After overturning the deficit against Middlesbrough on Tuesday evening, Chelsea will play their second cup game in a week and their third in two weeks. Following their 1-0 defeat to Championship opposition in that EFL Cup semi-final, the mood was likely quite low at Stamford Bridge. Last weekend’s 1-0 win over Fulham in the EPL would’ve helped in that sense, while that 6-1 win in the second leg gave the Blues a much-needed confidence boost, sending them to a final in the process.
Things had been going rather well for Aston Villa, who for most of the campaign have shown themselves to be capable of challenging the big boys in the Premier League. They went into their last fixture off the back of consecutive wins. That could not propel Unai Emery’s men to further glory, as they huffed, puffed but failed to blow down the house of a dogged and rigid Everton side, drawing 1-1 in front of a home crowd. That result will not have filled the Villans with confidence, but they should still fancy themselves at Stamford Bridge as this is exactly the sort of fixture that they’ve thrived in all season long.
Chelsea happier at home
It has not been a great season for Chelsea under new manager Mauricio Pochettino, but things have improved at home of late. Not only did the Blues score six on their way to a big win in the EFL Cup semi-final last time out, but they have now recorded four wins (in regulation time) on the spin in all competitions. They are unbeaten in their last nine at Stamford Bridge.
During the last few months at home, there has been clear improvement in the final third. For a long while, this was a team that was struggling for goals, one that lacked a focal point, but they have since addressed both of those issues, at least at home. In Cole Palmer, the Blues have a consistent centre forward, who is scoring with regularity, while the team in general is now scoring more goals. Pochettino’s men have scored 26 goals in their last nine home games, which is far from disappointing.
Away-day wobbles for Villans
Unlike Friday’s hosts, the Villans have had a great campaign so far. They have secured numerous high-profile wins and as a result, are well on their way to improving on last season’s finish. They sit fourth and are well in the hunt for a Champions League place. However, away of late, their form has waned somewhat.
Last time out on the road, the visitors could only muster a 0-0 draw against Everton, while they weren’t exactly convincing when beating Middlesbrough 0-1 in the FA Cup prior to that. Before then, they let that two-goal lead slip at Old Trafford, losing 2-3, while they’ve now won just two of their last six on the road in all competitions. Away in the Premier League, they have won two of their last seven.
Visitors CFC on top in recent times
Last season, the Blues struggled to get hold of the Villans in this fixture, both home and away. For the first time since 2004, Friday’s visitors come into this game having picked up consecutive wins against Chelsea. In April 2023 they won by 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, before winning 0-1 at Villa Park in September. Friday’s hosts have won just one of their last five competitive home games against Aston Villa.
Goals on the cards for the hosts Chelsea FC
This is not necessarily an easy fixture to call. Sure, if we look at the home form of the hosts and the away form of the visitors in recent times, then the home win does appear to be the most likely option. At even-money, ‘Chelsea to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ may just be the better option.
There can be no criticising Chelsea’s recent scoring form at home. As touched on in this preview above, they have scored no shortage of home goals in the last few months, netting multiple goals against even the best teams, such as Man City, Brighton and Newcastle. Such form bodes well given the fact that the visitors have conceded their fair share of goals on the road. We saw at Old Trafford, that away from the comforts of Villa Park, this Villa team can be easy to get at, while the likes of Bournemouth and Forest have scored multiple goals at home against this team in recent months. Even when they conceded just one away at Spurs, they gave away an abundance of chances and could easily have conceded three.
Given the recent scoring form of the hosts, coupled with the fact that their offensive players such as Cole Palmer, Raheem Sterling and Noni Madueke have all found their feet of late, siding with home goals looks to be the way to go.
Cole can keep scoring
As an additional play, Cole Palmer is well worth betting on with the online UK bookmakers to score at generous-looking odds of 12/5. The Englishman added another two goals to his tally in the week. He now has 11 goals to his name in all competitions this season. The Chelsea penalty taker has turned into a constant offensive threat, averaging 0.66 goals, 0.58 xG and 2.63 shots per 90 minutes, so do not be surprised if he does some damage here. So the betting tips for this CFC vs AVFC preview are:
- Chelsea to Score Over 1.5 Goals @ best odds of 10/11 with William Hill or Betfred.
- Cole Palmer to Score at any time @ biggest odds of 12/5 with Bet365.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.