Aston Villa vs. ChelseaVenue: Villa Park
Kick off: 12:45pm
Two sides that will have hoped for dramatically better campaigns back in August meet at Villa Park at lunchtime today.
Managerless Villa’s days as a Premier League club appear to be numbered, while Chelsea have produced one of the meekest defences of a title in recent memory.
It has been a truly miserable season for everyone of a Villa persuasion, compounded on Tuesday night when the news broke that manager Remi Garde had decided to throw in the towel.
In his 20 Premier League matches at the helm, the Frenchman saw his side win just twice and amass an average of 0.6 points per game – the lowest return in the division’s history.
Names like David Moyes, Nigel Pearson and Mick McCarthy have been linked with the vacancy, but for now Eric Black is the man that has been charged with taking the team forward on an interim basis.
Like Black, Guus Hiddink is well aware that he will be replaced in the summer.
The veteran Dutch coach was called upon to carry out some major fire-fighting work back in December, with Chelsea just one point outside of the drop zone.
To Hiddink’s credit, he has done just that. Chelsea head to Villa in 10th position and are still unbeaten under the 69-year-old’s guidance in the Premier League – six wins and eight draws.
Villa possible starting lineup: Guzan, Hutton, Richards, Lescott, Cissokho, Veretout, Westwood, Gueye, Gil, Ayew, Gestede.
Chelsea possible starting lineup: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Mikel, Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Pedro, Traore.