Villa managed to record a vital, but costly, away win at Turf Moor on New Year’s Day, outlasting Burnley 1-2. The match was notable not only for getting us back out of the drop zone and seeing a new formation from Dean Smith, but also sadly for season-ending injuries to Wesley and Tom Heaton. What already looked to be an extremely important window suddenly became even more so.
Villa’s stretch of matches against fellow cellar dwellers didn’t get off to such a great start Saturday, but the side rebounded on Boxing Day, securing a crucial three points against visiting Norwich with a 1-0 victory.
If nothing else, Bramall Lane will feel a bit more familiar than Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford as Villa seek to get back to winning ways. Not sure it’s going to be any easier to get a result, though.
Fresh on the heels of a relatively successful visit to Old Trafford, Villa head to Stamford Bridge to see if they can get more points off another big side. Could be tough with Chelsea losing to West Ham at the weekend, as they’ll obviously be looking for a response. But if, as Dean Smith says, Villa can keep their organization and concentration, it would be quite a statement to follow up the 2-2 draw with United by getting something tonight.
Today is going to be all about mentality. If Villa believe, and play within themselves, they can come away with something. The side have to encouraged by outings against Liverpool and the like, and given yesterday’s results, it should be clear to them that with a little more composure, a little less naïveté, and 90 minutes of effort they’ll be in this one and could finally get over the hump when it comes to playing the top teams, and our own particular devil.