Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez will be wary of a young Aston Villa side with nothing to lose when the two sides clash in their English Premier League game.
The Blues recovered from a disappointing loss in the Club World Cup final to Corinthians with a 5-1 win over Leeds United in the Capital One Cup quarterfinals in midweek, and Benitez will be hoping for more of the same against the team that impressively dispatched Liverpool 3-1 last weekend.
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"They are doing well and it seems they are comfortable with the system, three at the back with wing backs, and they have good options in counter-attack because (Christian) Benteke is a good reference point," Benitez said of their opponents.
"But our priority is our team and what we try to do. Obviously we analyse the other team too, but we want them to have to adapt to us more than us to them. This is a crucial time. It is important because there are a lot of points available."
John Terry is still some way away from making a return from his knee injury, while Ryan Bertrand is doubtful for the game.
"Terry trained today, just running," Benitez added. "He was on the pitch but he is not available yet. He was not training with the ball, just the warm-up.
"The knee is quite complicated but the fact he is on the pitch is positive news. But we cannot predict how long it will take. I hope he will play over Christmas but I cannot guarantee anything.
"He has an inflammation and sometimes it is going well, today in the warm up he was fine, but the day after sometimes he has a problem.
"He (Bertrand) has a little pain. Today (Friday) he couldn't train but we will decide tomorrow (Saturday) and we haven't ruled him out of Sunday's game.
"Daniel Sturridge is training but he was not training with us because of his hamstring problem. There is another training session before the game and if he is training well I will have to decide if he will be in the squad or the team."
Villa skipper Ron Vlaar and Gabriel Agbonlahor are major doubts, but Stephen Ireland returns to the squad after missing the Liverpool win due to illness.
Expected lineups: Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Moses, Mata, Hazard; Torres.
Aston Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Baker, Clark, Lichaj; Westwood, Herd, Holman, Bannan, Weimann; Benteke.
Prediction: 2-1 to Chelsea
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