Chelsea head to Aston Villa this evening knowing they cannot afford to concede any further ground in the Premier League title race.

Thomas Tuchel’s depleted squad endured frustrating back-to-back draws against Everton and Wolves and now find themselves six points adrift of leaders Manchester City.

Taking all three points against Villa will be no easy task, though, with the club transformed since Steven Gerrard’s arrival.

Villa have won four of their six league games since Gerrard’s took the reins, with their only defeats coming against City and Liverpool. Here is everything you need to know:

When is it and what time is kick-off?

The match will get underway at 5.30pm on Sunday 26 December at Villa Park.

How can I watch it online and on TV?

The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League.

What is the team news?

Bertrand Traore (thigh) and Leon Bailey (thigh) are still likely to miss out here, joining Marvelous Nakamba (knee) on the sidelines.

Still impacted by Covid, Steven Gerrard will miss the game himself, while Keinan Davis, Anwar El Ghazi and Morgan Sanson could all be among those absent due to the virus.

Ashley young is on the verge of a return.

Ben Chilwell is out still but appears primed for a return in January. Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Andreas Christensen all returned to training on Thursday. Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be out due to Covid, while Hakim Ziyech has an ankle problem.

Defender Andreas Christensen is fighting to be available after a back injury.

Predicted line-ups

Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Ramsey, Buendia, Watkins, Young

Chelsea: Mendy, Chalobah, Thiago, Rudiger, James, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic


Aston Villa – 9/2

Draw – 13/5

Chelsea – 4/6


Chelsea will be desperate to halt their slide, but Aston Villa have been terrific under Gerrard and won’t be beaten easily. Despite their struggles up front, Chelsea should eventually crack Villa’s resistance and prevail though in a hard-fought contest. Aston Villa 0-1 Chelsea.

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