Putting your money where your mouth is: Can Chelsea extend their early lead against Aston Villa?

Setting the pace at the top of the Premier League table after just five games represents a wonderful start to the 2014/2015 season for Chelsea.

The title favourites have instantly made a statement of intent early doors and find themselves three points clear, with big money signings Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa making an instant impact.

A highly creditable draw at closest title rivals Manchester City may have ended Chelsea’s 100% league record, but Jose Mourinho has certainly delivered on his promise that the Blues would be a much stronger force in his second season since returning to Stamford Bridge.

Although there is a long way to go, there is growing belief that Chelsea can fulfil their Premier League odds and lift the title next May.

Reasons to be optimistic

In this current form it’s difficult to pick out any Premier League team who could stop the Chelsea juggernaut.

They have been superb from the opening day victory at Burnley to the hard-fought draw at Manchester City in which Mourinho showed his class once again.

Although there may be a hint of disappointment at letting their lead slip despite playing against ten men following Pablo Zabaleta’s sending off for two yellow cards, Chelsea showed excellent control to manage the game and ensure they came away from the Etihad without a defeat against a strong title contender.

A large component unerring start to the season has been the wonderful goal-scoring form of Diego Costa who has hit the ground running.

Chelsea have already scored 16 goals in just five Premier League games, with the former Atletico Madrid striker currently top scorer with seven goals to his name.

His considerable physical presence, movement and deadly eye for goal have provided Chelsea with a key ingredient they sorely lacked last season, and could be too much for Aston Villa’s defence to handle.

Although Villa have only conceded 4 goals, they have scored the same number at the other end which may indicate they do not have the firepower to trouble Chelsea at the back.

They sorely miss the presence of Christian Benteke, whose absence should provide the Blues with the confidence to control the game and take all three points.

Reasons to be fearful

Fans who believe three points is a given against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge may want to err on the side of caution.

Paul Lambert’s side have made an excellent start to the Premier League season against all expectations, with many predicting that Villa would face a third consecutive relegation battle potentially proved wrong in the opening month of the season.

They currently sit third in the table, with Southampton above them only on goal difference, following superb away day victories at Stoke and Liverpool.

Aston Villa also hold an element of leverage over Chelsea following their 1-0 victory at Villa Park which effectively ended Mourinho’s hopes of winning the title in his first season back in the Premier League.

Despite losing 3-0 at home to Arsenal in week five, Villa will arrive with nothing to lose and may give it their best shot.

This may play into Chelsea’s hands but the same approach also paid dividends last season before Branislav Ivanovic’s second half goal secured an unconvincing 2-1 victory at the Bridge.

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