Time to get back to work.
The international break is finally over -- congratulations, by the way, to Ghana for becoming the first African nation to win a major competition with a dramatic penalty shootout triumph over Brazil in the U-20 World Cup -- and Chelsea open the Premier League slate this weekend at Aston Villa.
This will be no easy task. Villa Park has traditionally been a bogey destination for the Blues; last February's 1-0 win represents our first there since the turn of the century. Villa, despite a somewhat surprising defeat to Blackburn, have been in a decent run of form. Three victories preceded the loss, while a draw with Manchester City -- a game Villa led for much of the night -- followed.
Chelsea, meanwhile, will be looking to further distance itself from the 3-1 loss to Wigan in their last league away match with back-to-back wins against top-6 sides. If you recall, last time out, the Blues disposed of Liverpool 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. Beautiful.
- Aston Villa have won just once in its last 10 league matches against Chelsea
- Chelsea have netted in 13 straight Prem matches (31 goals).
- Villa are the only Premier League side not to have conceded a headed goal.
- Nicolas Anelka loves the Villains. He's scored in his last three league matches against them.
- Getting defensive. Half of the goals Chelsea have conceded this season have come via defenders