By Paul Brown
Steve Sidwell believes former club Chelsea will win the Barclays Premier League - but says claret and blue supporters can cheer Villa on to victory against them this weekend.
Sidwell, who spent a season at Stamford Bridge, is expecting a really tough test against a side he rates as the best in the country.
But he says Villa fans can have a major impact in inspiring and "driving" the players on as they look to get the better of Carlo Ancelotti's men.
He wants home supporters to really get behind the lads as they look for victory.
He said: "It's going to be a tough game. They are doing really well and we have got a good record against them apart from last year away.
"Hopefully we can put that to one side and go into it confident and get a result.
"I personally think they will win the league. The way they have started this year and on the evidence shown they should do really well but it's a long season and a lot of ups and downs happen.
"At home the fans are great, especially against the big teams.
"They really do get behind the players, which is really important because sometimes when it's 0-0, or if you're 1-0 down, when you need that extra push, it does come from the fans.
"You do sense that on the pitch. It does drive you on more."
Sidwell admitted Villa v Chelsea is a fixture close to his heart because of his family ties to the London club.
He added: "Chelsea is my old team and when I was at Reading we used to play each other all the time and it was nice.
"I have got a lot of family that support Chelsea so it's quite a close club."