Arsenal are coming off a solid away win over Tottenham, and they sit four points behind the Blues with one game in hand.
Mid-week, sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark had Chelsea as the betting favorites with 1-1 odds of winning, while an Arsenal win was at 13-5 odds and a draw at 5-2.
Coming into the Villa match last Saturday, Chelsea had been riding a five-match league winning streak and were unbeaten in the league since December 17.
The Blues have already faced Arsenal away in league play, with the match ending in a 0-0 draw.
With eight more matches on the league schedule, the Blues have their destiny largely in their own hands. However, while they enjoy a six-point lead over Manchester City, they have played three more matches than City.
Still, Chelsea do not have a very tough remaining schedule, with Arsenal and Liverpool being their biggest two matches.
The Gunners really needed a win in the North London derby facing Tottenham, and after Tomas Rosicky scored in the second minute, they played solid defense the rest of the match to win 1-0.
Arsenal boast a solid offense with the likes of Olivier Giroud, who has 12 league goals this season. But they have been struggling on that side of the pitch as of late.
In their last five league matches, Arsenal have scored just six goals. Four came facing Sunderland, who are currently in the relegation zone.
Chelsea lost their last match, but their defense has been solid, conceding just three goals in their last six league matches.
One big question involves Blues manager Jose Mourinho. He was sent to the stands in the Aston Villa match for rushing on the pitch to protest a call in injury time.
He was charged with improper conduct by the FA on Wednesday, via The Telegraph. This could be a big blow for the Blues.
Chelsea had more shots on goal than Aston Villa in their last match and dominated possession (61 percent to 39 percent), but they still could not find the back of the net.
Eden Hazard was held in check in the Aston Villa match. While he is the big gun for the Blues, with 13 goals this season, they have four other players who have at least five goals.
Chelsea already defeated Arsenal this season away in Capital One Cup play.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal
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