Chelsea FC Team News vs Aston Villa: Pulisic, Lukaku, Kante, Silva

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Another long international break is over, huzzah! and Chelsea FC will resume their Premier League campaign with a home date against Aston Villa on Saturday. The Blues could be without several key players in this one, including their top two highest earners:

Romelu Lukaku, with a salary of £325k a week, and N’Golo Kanté, who makes £290k a week, are both doubts for this one. Let’s preview!

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Chelsea FC vs Aston Villa FYIs

Kickoff: Sat Sept 11, 3pm BST, Stamford Bridge, TV: NBC

Chelsea Starting XI Prediction: go here

Premier League Weekly Podcast: go here

Premier League Position: Chelsea 4th, 7pts  Aston Villa 11th, 4 pts.

Premier League Form Guide:  Chelsea  DWW  Aston Villa DWL

Team News for Both Sides

It’s not a good situation right now for Villans named Emiliano. Both of them, Buendia and Martinez, will sit this one out due to covid-19 isolation protocols.

Meanwhile Jacob Ramsey has tested positive for COVID-19, so he’s out as well. Also sitting this one out for AVFC are Mohamed Trezeguet and Keinan Davis. However, Bertrand Traore, Morgan Sanson, Ezri Konsa and Leon Bailey could be in contention here.

As we said before Romelu Lukaku is a doubt, with the big Belgian working his way over a thigh issue. As for Kante, he’s battling an ankle knock.

Captain American, Christian Pulisic, left the USA’s 4-1 win in Honduras with an ankle injury in the sixty-second minute. Nothing is known right now about the severity of this problem, but he was unlikely to get selected for this one anyway. The Stars and Stripes played a World Cup qualifier in Central America on late Wednesday night, and it was quick turnaround to play in England on Saturday.

Speaking of commuter headaches…Thiago Silva is a doubt due to travel protocols and restrictions in the age of covid. 11 players were handed 5-day FIFA bans this break, with their Premier League clubs set to appeal the ruling. The Brazilian has certainly been through this before; time and again. You can read more about that here.

Finally, English international Reece James is suspended for this one.

Prediction: Chelsea 1, Aston Villa 0

Despite the potential absence of several key players, Chelsea are still massively favored at -400 while Villa are HUGE underdogs, to the tune of +1000. A draw is priced at +450, and we’re going chalk on this one.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune.

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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