Chelsea will be desperate to get back into the thick of the Premier League title race as they take on Aston Villa. After a run of two draws, it is a must-win encounter for the Blues, who are trailing league leaders Manchester City by six points. Another disappointing result could see them lose track of the top two, although a win could help them get level on points with Liverpool, who have had their game postponed.
Aston Villa won’t make things any easier for Chelsea, especially given their form since the appointment of Steven Gerrard. Under the Premier League legend, the Villans have won six of their four Premier League matches, with their only two defeats coming against Manchester City and his former club, Liverpool.
Aston Villa Vs Chelsea Preview
Steven Gerrard has largely switched between a 4-3-2-1 and a 4-1-4-1 since taking charge of Aston Villa. This time around, the former Rangers manager could opt for a more defensive 4-3-2-1 with Douglas Luiz looking to build a solid formation in the second line of press alongside John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey. Their box to box quality could be useful in preventing Chelsea from creating chances from their centre-oriented style of play.
Thomas Tuchel is unlikely to shift away from his tried and tested 3-4-2-1 setup. The lack of a proper number nine should see the front three being deployed in a free-flowing role, as they look to cause havoc for the Aston Villa defence. The wingbacks may also play a vital role in offering the width going forward.
Aston Villa are set to miss out on the services of Marvellous Nakamba, Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore. But the likes of Keinan Davis, Anwar El Ghazi and Morgan Sanson have likely returned in contention, although it remains to be seen whether any of them can make the matchday squad.
Chelsea are in a much better position compared to last weekend, with N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho all in contention to start on Sunday. But on the flip side, Ben Chilwell remains on the sidelines whereas there are concerns over the involvements of Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz among a few others.
Predicted Lineup For Aston Villa Vs Chelsea
Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey; Buendia, Young; Watkins
Chelsea: Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Pulisic
Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports/Sky Go|
|New Zealand||Spark Sport|