After playing to a 0-0 draw two weeks ago, Aston Villa and Chelsea meet again on Wednesday for an FA Cup replay to decide the fourth-round tie. Both have already advanced further than they did a year ago but enter the matchup in very different circumstances. Villa are in the middle of the Premier League’s top-four race and could add a deep FA Cup run to an already impressive season. As for Chelsea, they can use the cup competition as a distraction from an underwhelming first season under Mauricio Pochettino, much like they have with their run to the EFL Cup final.
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How to watch and odds
- Date: Wednesday, Feb. 7 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Villa Park — Birmingham, England
- Live stream: ESPN+
- Odds: Aston Villa +115; Draw +275; Chelsea +245
Aston Villa: Unai Emery’s side are still one of the best in England, but their recent form has been a bit spotty. They have just two wins in their last five and outside of Saturday’s 5-0 win over Sheffield United, scored just two more goals during that stretch. They will still be favored over Chelsea considering the opposition’s roller coaster of a season, especially with their top talents like Ollie Watkins, who has 11 goals and 10 assists in Premier League play so far this season.
Chelsea: The Blues also have just two wins in their last five, but it feels like they have been plunged into yet another crisis this season after a 4-1 loss to Liverpool and a 4-2 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the last week. The good news for Pochettino is that many of his mainstays will be available for the game including Cole Palmer, who’s up to 10 goals in the Premier League this season, but the big question is: Which Chelsea will actually show up?
Chelsea have it in them to play a normal game, but their inconsistent form even on their best days means this is Villa’s tie to lose. Expect the hosts to get the job done, even if it is not as lopsided as Chelsea’s recent losses. Pick: Aston Villa 2, Chelsea 1