Mark Lawrenson has forecasted that Chelsea will gather momentum again in the Premier League title race by beating Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
Writing his BBC predictions for the upcoming festive fixture schedule, the former Liverpool defender anticipated a Blue covered victory at Villa Park.
More than that, he foresaw a resurgence from Thomas Tuchel’s men once they defeat Steven Gerrard’s side in their own backyard.
Chelsea not feeling very Christmassy
Chelsea have hit what some might call a slump.
Wednesday’s 2-0 Carabao Cup win at Brentford was only the club’s second triumph in six outings.
They have picked up just two victories from their past half a dozen Premier League games.
Not exactly the form of a team looking to take the title back off Manchester City.
Blues getting better
The mid-week cup success should give Tuchel’s group some optimism heading into Sunday’s clash against Villa.
Especially as Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku’s covid isolation period has concluded early.
Not to mention the likes of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante all being free of their respective injuries.
Combine these elements together and the Blues could be gifted a golden ticket by Gerrard in a few days.
“It is hard to make a prediction when you don’t know who is available for either team, but Chelsea should still be the stronger side,” said Lawrenson.
“Villa will give it a good go, just as they did when they played Manchester City at Villa Park a few weeks ago, but, like City did, Chelsea should still find a way to win.
“It has not been a great few weeks for Thomas Tuchel’s side for various reasons – he clearly felt last week’s game with Wolves should have been postponed – but I wouldn’t be surprised if they put together a bit of a run now.
“Their game against Liverpool on 2 January is going to be very interesting.”
Villa no pushovers
Despite the miniature lift in mood around Cobham, Tuchel will not be getting ahead of himself at all.
Under Gerrard’s guidance, Villa have proved to be a tough nut to crack once again.
They went toe-to-toe with Liverpool and Manchester City, only losing both games by a one goal margin.
In fact, since the iconic midfielder took charge of the Villains, only Arsenal, his beloved Reds and City have collected more points in the league.
Chelsea are behind Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in this category, despite the latter having two matches postponed due to covid.
The Blues can haul themselves above United and Spurs in the form table and closer to City in the actual table with a win on the weekend.
Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here