Aston Villa vs. Chelsea: Sunday Premier League Soccer Betting Odds, Picks & Preview (May 23)
Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Grealish.
- Chelsea can secure a Champions League berth with all three points against Aston Villa.
- The Villans don't have much to play for, but they have played some inspired football with the return of Jack Grealish to the lineup.
- BJ Cunningham explains below that despite the difference in motivation levels, Aston Villa may be worth a wager.
Aston Villa vs. Chelsea Odds
|Aston Villa Odds||+575|
|Over/Under||3 (+102 / -122)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 11 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA | Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated Saturday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Chelsea look to secure a spot in next season’s Champions League when they travel to Aston Villa on Sunday.
Aston Villa really have nothing to play for in this match, but that doesn’t mean the Villans don’t want to end the season on a high note. They pulled off a fantastic upset on Wednesday defeating Tottenham 2-1 at White Hart Lane. I don’t think Aston Villa are going to just roll over and let Chelsea cruise to a Champions League spot.
This is a massive match for the Blues, who can secure a Champions League spot with all three points. Chelsea’s form has been unbelievable under new manager Thomas Tuchel, as the Blues have lost only two matches under the German. They will have one eye on this match on Sunday and their Champions League final with Manchester City in a week, so it’s a massive two weeks for Chelsea.
Aston Villa Are A Different Club With Grealish
Jack Grealish returned to the lineup on Wednesday against Tottenham and showed why they are a completely different team with him on the pitch. The Villans’ went through a bad stretch without Grealish in the lineup over the past three months after the first half of the season was so promising.
With Grealish, Aston Villa boast one of the best attacks in the Premier League, as it averages 1.72 xG per match versus on 1.09 xG per match when he’s on the sidelines.
Aston Villa’s defense has also been much improved from last season, allowing only 1.34 xG per match. They were fantastic at limiting Tottenham’s chances on Wednesday, holding Spurs to only 0.96 xG in the match, despite allowing Tottenham to control 57% of the possession. So, I think they will be able to hang with Chelsea with Grealish in the lineup.
Chelsea Have Flourished Under Tuchel
Defense has been Chelsea’s strong suit under Tuchel. The Blues’ defense is allowing only 0.58 xG per match in the Premier League and Champions League combined since Tuchel took over at the end of January.
Tactically, Tuchel changed Chelsea’s system to a 3-4-2-1 from the 4-3-3 used by Frank Lampard, which has allowed Chelsea to become more unpredictable. The main objective of the 3-4-2-1 is to completely overwhelm opposing defenses by outnumbering them on the counter attack.
The new formation allows Chelsea some tactical flexibility, to adjust on the fly based on how the match is going. That’s allowed Chelsea to dominate possession and keep opponents on their toes.
Their offense has also been outstanding under Tucehel, as the Blues are averaging 1.82 xG per match since he took over. It will be interesting to see if Chelsea are able to be their dominant selves on the road and secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Even though Aston Villa have nothing to play for in this match, I still think Chelsea are overvalued. Aston Villa are just a completely different team with Grealish on the field, and if Wednesday was any indication, I don’t think they are just going to roll over and let Chelsea dominate the game.
Therefore, I am going to back Aston Villa’s spread of +1 at +108 (DraftKings).
Pick: Aston Villa +1 (+108)