Having been forced to play three games in less than a week with ongoing coronavirus issues, there can be some sympathy with the selection problems which have hindered Thomas Tuchel.
Nevertheless, the Blues have come through a period against Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brentford without suffering defeat, two draws in the Premier League being followed by a 2-0 triumph in the EFL Cup quarter-finals.
Now sitting well adrift of Man City, Tuchel cannot be satisfied with his team’s recent form, but a change in government coronavirus rules should lead to more players returning this weekend.
The biggest plus from the last two games has been consecutive clean sheets, those shutouts being achieved after previously conceding 11 times in six contests.
Tuchel will hope that more goals from open play now follow, but Chelsea suffered a 2-1 defeat in this corresponding fixture last season as they just about held onto fourth spot in the Premier League on the final day.
Villa have experienced their own coronavirus outbreak, one which Gerrard has described as ongoing ahead of welcoming the European champions.
The cancellation of last weekend’s game versus Burnley has given Villa’s first-team squad a chance to recharge their batteries, but Gerrard will argue that some momentum could have been lost from the enforced break.
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Beating Norwich City by a 2-0 scoreline represented Villa’s fourth win in six under Gerrard, their two defeats coming at the hands of Man City and Liverpool.
Although Villa have lost nine of their 17 matches this season, they are within touching distance of the top eight, and Gerrard will feel that there is a window of opportunity to capitalise on the inconsistency of other clubs.
While Ollie Watkins has not hit the heights of last season, the England international has still contributed four goals from his last eight appearances