Chelsea v Aston Villa: Ivanovic expects ‘very difficult’ game
Chelsea v Aston Villa: Branislav Ivanovic is braced for a difficult game when the Blues welcome Villains to Stamford Bridge
Branislav Ivanovic is braced for a “very difficult” game when Chelsea host Aston Villa on Sunday.
The Blues booked their place in the Capital One Cup semi-finals in midweek after thrashing Leeds United 5-1 at Elland Road.
Rafael Benitez’s men now turn their attentions back to the Premier League as they look to reclaim some of the 13-point gap to leaders Manchester United.
But Blues defender Ivanovic is expecting Paul Lambert’s side to provide a stern test for the west Londoners following their impressive victory at Liverpool last weekend.
“From the beginning of the season they didn’t start well, but now they have confidence, they are playing better in every game and they come to Stamford Bridge with nothing to lose,” Ivanovic told Chelsea’s website.
“Their win at Anfield will give them extra confidence, and it will be a very difficult game for us, especially as we still need to adapt after coming back from Japan. We have to be mentally ready and recover well before the game.”
Ivanovic admits he will have to keep a close eye on Christian Benteke, who has impressed since joining Villa from Genk in the summer.
He added: “He’s a very good striker; he controls the ball well with good technique and has very good movement, so it will be a hard game. They have a good mix of strikers with [Gabriel] Agbonlahor as well.”