Villa v Chelsea club connections: Townsend, Chico, Cole and more
There's been a host of players who have turned out for both teams - and here are a quintet of them below.
Two medals in the space of two years transformed Andy Townsend from one of football's nearly men into a winner.
Before joining Villa from Chelsea in the summer of 1993, the Republic of Ireland international had played in five semi-finals and had lost them all.
But where he had missed out with Southampton, Norwich City and Chelsea, he hit the jackpot in 1994 when Villa beat Manchester United in the League Cup final - and was captain when they outclassed Leeds United in the 1996 final.
A few eyebrows were raised at Villa's outlay of £2.1m for a 30-year-old but he started repaying the fee from day one as his midfield dominance and powerful runs gave the side a vital edge they had previously lacked.
He also scored some crucial goals.
In his first season at Villa Park he was on target four times and every one was a winner, against Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Arsenal and Slovan Bratislava in the UEFA Cup.
Villa invariably struggled when he wasn't in the team, although the fact that he always wore his heart on his sleeve meant he occasionally had to endure a lengthy absence.
During his second season, he served a six-month suspension following a series of bookings and a red card in a 4-3 defeat by Wimbledon in what proved to be Atkinson's final match.
Townsend returned to the line-up at Arsenal on Boxing Day - and promptly earned himself another two-match ban by being sent off in his comeback match!
Villa only narrowly avoided relegation that season but the following campaign was the club's most successful of the Premier League era.
Apart from winning the League Cup - and Townsend describes the feeling of receiving the trophy as the most satisfying of his career - they finished fourth in the table and reached the FA Cup semi-finals.
He joined Middlesbrough in August 1997.
Popularly known as Chico, Ian Hamilton served Villa well for nearly seven years, even if his debut season in claret and blue was one to forget.
Having been on Chelsea's books as a youngster, he joined Villa from Southend United for £40,000 in July 1969.
By the following summer, the club were preparing for Third Division football for the first time in their history.
The midfielder's appearances that season were sporadic but in his second campaign he played a total of 55 games, scoring 12 goals, as Villa finished fourth in the table and became the third team from Division Three to reach the League Cup final.
Unfortunately they lost to Tottenham at Wembley but the following season Hamilton helped them back to the Second Division.
He was also an integral member of the team who won promotion back to the top flight in 1974/75, when he was back at Wembley for another League Cup final.
This time he collected a winner's medal as Villa beat Norwich City 1-0.
Hamilton played 50 league and cup games that season, hitting 13 goals, and he was also involved in 31 of Villa's matches on their first season back in the First Division.
He joined Sheffield United in July 1976.
Tony Cascarino was Villa's record signing by some distance when he arrived from Millwall in March 1990, his £1.5m fee far outstripping the £650,000 paid to Bradford City for Ian Ormondroyd 13 months earlier.
Manager Graham Taylor made the bold swoop in a bid to clinch the First Division championship but it was a move which backfired.
Although Villa won at Derby on Cascarino's debut - with Ormonroyd, ironically, scoring the only goal - their challenge fell away in the closing weeks and the crown went to Liverpool.
It wasn't until the last two matches, in fact, that Cascarino - who had been a prolific marksman alongside Teddy Sheringham at The Den - scored his first goals for the club.
His output was much improved in his second season, when he was on target 10 times, including one against his former club in the League Cup, but it was a campaign of struggle for Villa, who only narrowly avoided relegation under Dr Jo Venglos.
Cascarino, a Republic of Ireland international, was sold to Celtic following Ron Atkinson's appointment as manager that summer.
He later moved to Chelsea and subsequently had successful spells with French clubs Olympique Marseille and AS Nancy.
He brought a touch of culture to his full-back role with Villa, which is hardly surprising because Kenny Swain would have been equally comfortable in a classroom.
Before being offered his big chance by Chelsea in 1973, he was all set to become a PE teacher.
As it turned out, education's loss was football's gain.
He helped Chelsea to promotion from the old Second Division in 1977 and by the time he arrived at Villa Park in December 1978 he had scored 30 goals in 127 league and cup games for the Stamford Bridge club.
At that stage of his career he played as either a midfielder or a striker, he actually wore the No.8 shirt initially, scoring four times in 25 games by the end of his first season with the club.
The following season, though, he challenged John Gidman for the right-back spot, making the position his own following Gidman's transfer to Everton.
Not surprisingly, his goal output dried up after that, but over the course of the next three seasons he missed only four games, boasting an ever-present record in the title-winning campaign of 1980/81.
He also took over the captaincy whenever Dennis Mortimer was absent, and played in all but one of the ties as Villa won the European Cup in 1982.
After just two games of the following season, though, he lost his place and was transferred to Nottingham Forest.
Joe Cole didn't quite enjoy the impact he wanted during his time in the claret and blue of Villa - but it's fair to say he enjoyed the biggest successes of his glittering career at this weekend's opponents, Chelsea.
The attacking midfield player won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two League Cups at the Blues in addition to reaching the final of the Champions League in 2008.
Cole was born in Paddington before moving to Somers Town in central London.
He came through the youth system at West Ham United, playing in the same team as future fellow England international Michael Carrick.
He made his first team debut for the Hammers aged 17 in an FA Cup third round game against Swansea City.
Cole made 150 appearances in all competitions in his first stint at Upton Park, scoring 13 goals.
He was made captain in 2002/03 at the age of 21 and was awarded the Club's player of the season.
He joined Chelsea for £6.6m in 2003.
Following the arrival of Jose Mourinho as manager in 2004, he became a key part of the squad that won the Barclays Premier League twice in a row.
In his time at Chelsea, he won the Premier League three times, the FA Cup three times, the League Cup twice and the Community Shield twice, as well as being voted Chelsea's player of the season in 2008.
He turned out 280 times for the Blues in all competitions, scoring 39 goals.
He moved to Liverpool as a free agent in 2010 and made 32 appearances in all competitions for the Reds.
He moved to Lille on loan in 2011 and helped the defending champions finish third, qualifying for the Champions League.
He made 43 appearances for the French team and scored nine goals.
Following his return to Liverpool, Cole played 10 games before leaving to re-join his first club, West Ham.
He made 30 more appearances in two seasons at Upton Park before leaving for the second time.
Cole won 56 England caps and played at three World Cups.
He scored 10 times for England, including a memorable volley against Sweden in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
He became Villa's second signing of the 2014/15 summer transfer window in June 2014 and eventually made 16 appearances, scoring one goal against Burnley.