Two struggling sides will bid to improve on awful defensive records when Chelsea host Aston Villa in their Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Striker Diego Costa is available for Chelsea’s Premier League clash at home to Aston Villa, but right-back Branislav Ivanovic is out.
Costa has completed a three-match ban for violent conduct, but Ivanovic suffered a hamstring injury on duty with Serbia and faces around three weeks out, joining goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (knee) in the treatment room.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Ramires, Kurt Zouma and 19-year-old Ola Aina are options for right-back, while midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek could also start.
Gabby Agbonlahor continues to be sidelined with a calf injury for struggling Aston Villa.
The forward has been out since last month, but winger Adama Traore (ankle) is available after three weeks in the treatment room.
Midfielder Jack Grealish has regained match fitness during the international break, but defenders Jores Okore (knee) and Ciaran Clark (thigh) remain on the sidelines.
- Jose Mourinho has never lost successive home league games as a manager.
- Aston Villa have lost four Premier League games in a row by a one-goal margin; no side has ever done this in five consecutive matches.
- 12 of the 23 teams to be 16th after eight Premier League games (as Chelsea are now) have been relegated, while no side has finished higher than fifth (Everton 2008/09).
- Chelsea have conceded at least two goals in seven of their eight Premier League games this season (the other game was a 2-0 win against Arsenal).
- Only Sunderland (18) have conceded more Premier League goals than Chelsea (17) this term.
- Branislav Ivanovic has scored five Premier League goals against Aston Villa; against no other side has he netted more than twice.
- Ivanovic has scored 20 PL goals in total; only one player with 20+ goals in PL history has scored a higher percentage against one club than he has v Villa (Ivanovic 25% v Villa, Luke Moore 30% v Middlesbrough).
- Villa have not kept a PL clean sheet at Stamford Bridge since March 1998, conceding 30 times in their last eight at the West London venue.
- Tim Sherwood’s side have scored in their last nine away league games; the longest current run in the top-flight.
- Chelsea, meanwhile, have scored in their last 23 home league matches; also the longest current run of its kind in the Premier League.