Merry Christmas! A tough trip to Villa Park on Boxing Day.
Chelsea travel to Villa Park to play 10th placed Aston Villa on Boxing Day. Chelsea have already played Villa this season with the reverse fixture ending 3-0 with Lukaku scoring two on the day. Villa have since gone on a dismal run of form that saw Dean Smith get sacked and replaced by Steven Gerrard who has won four of his first six games in charge of the club. The two losses have come to Manchester City and Liverpool although they were narrow defeats and in both games Villa gave a good account of themselves. Villa also have one game in hand although that has no effect on this game.
Chelsea go into this game having played in the League Cup during the week with a bare bones squad. The end result was a 0-2 win at Brentford which saw us move on to the Semi-Finals of the tournament. Our last league game was at Wolves another game where we barely had a squad fit but managed to get a draw out of the game. Chelsea have drawn their last two games in the league so a win is due for sure. The last time we drew away at Wolves was also Tuchel’s first game in charge of Chelsea and we went on a brilliant run of form. December has been harsh but we have still managed to negotiate it fairly and sit 3 points behind Liverpool who are 2nd. This will be a tough game though and Gerrard has got Villa playing some high tempo football and has a team that likes to create chances and score goals.
Chelsea Team Preview
Chelsea are still without Werner, Kai Havertz, Loftus-Cheek, and Chilwell. Chilwell is the only player that for sure won’t be involved but the rest could make it into the squad possibly. The covid situation means that no one is really sure until the final lineup is shown before the game. Lukaku, and Hudson-Odoi did return to training on Thursday and should be on the bench for this game and maybe one of them could start as well. Mendy should return in goal while Chalobah, Silva, and Rudiger make up the back three. Reece James should be the right wing back with Alonso the left wing back. Jorginho, and Kante should be the midfield two with Mount, Pulisic, and Lukaku up front. Once again no one is really sure who will start but I would go with these players for this game. It is high time that Lukaku starts regaining his form because Chelsea need him. A lot of these players will be well rested and ready to go as well. Maybe a couple academy players make the bench for this game, Vale, maybe Webster. It’s a good lineup for sure.
Aston Villa Team Preview
Gerrard said he has a good squad to pick from at the time of his press conference. Gerrard likes to play a 4-3-3 and Martinez should be in goal. Targett, Mings, Konsa, and Cash should make up the back four with a midfield of Luiz, Nakamba, and McGinn. Young, Watkins, and Ramsay should start up front for Villa. The likes of Buendia, Ings, Trezeguet, El Ghazi, and Chukwuemeka are all players that can cause problems as well. Villa have a good squad and McGinn is one of there most dangerous players. Ramsay is also hitting some good form while Watkins is always dangerous as well. It’s a team that has a lot of good momentum at the moment.
Starting XI Prediction
It’s a Boxing Day game and Villa will be pumped for the fixture but so will Chelsea. Some rested players potentially Lukaku back, Kante playing etc it’s time to regain the positive momentum for Chelsea. COME ON CHELSEA!!!