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Liverpool’s win against Burnley on Wednesday means it’s far from done and dusted for Chelsea who sit just a single point clear of fifth heading into the final day. T
hat does mean that a win here will be enough regardless of Leicester’s or Liverpool’s results, though that may be easier said than done with fans back at Villa park and, even more importantly, the return of Jack Grealish.
The Englishman returned to the starting lineup in midweek and it’s no coincidence his side went on to beat Spurs 2-1 to build confidence heading into the weekend.
Indeed, since the beginning of last season, Villa’s points per game increase 54% when Grealish has started since the beginning of last season.
There’s therefore nothing to suggest that this won’t be a tight contest and with a lot on the line here for the visitors they’ll have a lot of pressure to deal with.
Even without that added pressure though, Tuchel’s men are often involved in tight encounters, with only two of their 28 matches under the German so far being separated by more than two goals, compared to nine of Frank Lampard’s 29 this season.
Both Teams To Score
Chelsea have proven in recent weeks that they’re not as resolute when the pressure is on, with every game now being touted as a cup final, and them conceding in each of their last four. For context, they’d only conceded in four of their previous 17 matches, so we certainly wouldn’t be expecting an away clean sheet.
Aston Villa have scored in six of the last seven matches in which Grealish has started, while both teams have scored in eight of their last nine games so we wouldn’t be surprised if that happened here, as it has done in each of the last three head to heads.
Villa haven’t beaten the Blues since March 2014, with Chelsea taking six of the last seven with the exception coming in the reverse fixture this season during Lampard’s tough spell, and they’ve certainly progressed since then with Villa going in the opposite direction.
As the final day often offers up some big twists and turns, the 1x2 market is certainly worth avoiding for this game, especially considering the visitors look slightly on the short side against a team that has been seen to spring a surprise or two this campaign.
However, the both teams to score market looks to hold enough value on its own and on a day where we’re expecting goals to be fired in at a higher rate than usual, we’re happy to back that outcome in what could be a testing day for the London side.