The Chelsea perspective
Before today's meeting in West London, we talked with the senior writer football.london . Alan SmithFor a Chelsea perspective in Q & A style.
How is Chelsea under Frank, how are they positioned and what is their style? Who is the Danger People when Hazard is gone?
Things went really well last week, but two league titles in a row and a draw against Valencia in the Champions League, which should have been a defeat, have tempered growing expectations.
The style is to have a single striker, two wide players and a lot of high pressure off the ball. Behind the three fronts, Lampard has changed a lot – often because of injuries, but lately to rest a few players. It did not work out as planned.
Is there anything bizarre or funny that happened so far this season at Chelsea?
Certainly not funny, but a curiosity was that they did much better in the distance than on Stamford Bridge – Villa fans would probably like to hear that before Wednesday.
If you were Dean Smith, how would you win against Chelsea?
Try to send them offensive as most of Chelsea's best moves come from their wingers. At the other end, they have problems with set pieces, but usually defend well in open play. Making the most of corners and free kicks is of the utmost importance if Villa wants to get something out of the game.
What did you do with Villa this season?
For external watchers, it's all about Jack Grealish, summed up by his goal at Old Trafford on Sunday. Why was he not appointed to the England squad yet?
Expected formation and prediction?
It's hard to predict a team since Lampard will probably always involve a curveball in the defense or midfield, but …
Kepa; James, Zouma, Tomori, Azpilicueta; Rim, Jorginho, Mount; Willian, Abraham (if Batshuayi does not fit), Pulisic.
And a 2-1 home win.