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Chelsea v Aston Villa Live Commentary & Result, 28/12/2020, Premier League

18′ The Blues survive the corner, but these are warning signs from Villa. The Clarets are looking to end a run of six consecutive Premier League defeats in this fixture.

16′ It just needed a touch! At the other end, Grealish pulls the strings for Villa with a surging run to the byline. He cuts the ball back across the area, but nobody gets a touch to it. The danger is not over yet for Chelsea, who concede a corner.

14′ Good block. Pulisic takes aim again for the Blues after the ball is neatly laid into his path by Mount. However, McGinn throws his body in the way for Villa and deflects the effort behind for a corner.

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12′ GREAT CHANCE! Loose possession from Villa and Pulisic is onto the ball in a flash. He darts into the heart of the Villa defence, before firing his shot just wide of the target.

9′ El Ghazi is very much the man in form as far as Villa are concerned. He has scored four goals in their last four games; already matching his tally for the entire 2019-20 season.

7′ Grealish pulls the resulting corner back to the edge of the area, where El Ghazi is unmarked. However, a deflection takes the sting out of his first-time shot and makes it easy for Mendy to gather.

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6′ Good effort! Neat play from Villa sees them work the ball to Grealish on the corner of the penalty area. In trademark fashion, he works space and cuts onto his right foot, before unleashing a bending shot that is turned away by Mendy.

5′ Good early pressure from Chelsea sees them force a couple of corners. But Villa deal with the danger on both occasions.

3′ The Blues may have struggled for form of late, but their strong home record remains intact. In fact, they are unbeaten in 10 at Stamford Bridge, winning six of those.

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1′ The referee blows his whstle and Chelsea get us underway.

The teams are coming out onto the pitch and kick-off is moments away.

The form book would make Villa the favourites today. Smith’s side are unbeaten in four – winning three – while Chelsea have suffered three defeats in their last four outings.

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By contrast, Dean Smith makes just a single alteration to the side that began Villa’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace. It is an enforced one as well with Ezri Konsa replacing the suspended Tyrone Mings in the heart of defence. Trezeguet, Wesley and Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley remain sidelined. 

After expressing his disappointment following the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal, Frank Lampard makes six changes from the Boxing Day reverse. There are recalls for the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho and Callum Hudson-Odoi, while Olivier Giroud is given the nod ahead of Tammy Abraham up front.

SUBS: Tom Heaton, Neil Taylor, Bjorn Engels, Frederic Guilbert, Ahmed Elmohamady, Conor Hourihane, Marvelous Nakamba, Jacob Ramsey, Keinan Davis.

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ASTON VILLA (4-2-3-1): Emiliano Martinez; Matty Cash, Kourtney Hause, Ezri Konsa, Matt Targett; Douglas Luiz, John McGinn; Bertrand Traore, Jack Grealish (captain), Anwar El Ghazi; Ollie Watkins.

SUBS: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Fikayo Tomori, Thiago Silva, Emerson, Billy Gilmour, Mateo Kovacic, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham.

CHELSEA (4-3-3): Edouard Mendy; Cesar Azpilicueta (captain), Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Ben Chilwell; N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mason Mount; Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud, Callum Hudson-Odoi.

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It is eighth against seventh at Stamford Bridge, where a win for either side would lift them into top four.

Hello everyone and welcome to live text coverage of the Premier League clash between Chelsea and Aston Villa.

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