Chelsea FC Team News, Starting XI Prediction vs Aston Villa


Chelsea, who actually had a chance to go second, had they beat Arsenal in their Boxing Day London derby, now sit seventh in the table. Their home game against Aston Villa kicks off exactly 48 hours after their shocking upset loss to the Gunners.

The Blues will come into the clash against the Villans substantial favorites, despite looking up at their opponents in the table, and that opposition having two games in hand on them.

Aston Villa at Chelsea FC FYIs

Kick off: 5:30pm GMT, Mon. Dec. 28

TV (US): NBCSN, Streaming

Odds: Chelsea (-164), Aston Villa (+380) Draw (+320)

Form Guide Chelsea LWLLW,  Aston Villa WWDWL

Table Position: Chelsea 7th, 25 pts, Aston Villa 6th, 25 pts

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has made it clear, he believes the schedule makers have it exceptionally unfair to his side, and as a consequence, he must rotate his side for this match.

“It’s two games in two days, 48 hours,” Lampard told his pre-Arsenal press conference.

“I’m not trying to be clever, it’s an important point for us, because there are other teams that are challenging at the top of the league that play two games in three days.

“And I know clearly what happened with this one as well. The game’s being broadcast live as they all are now. We play Arsenal on Boxing Day and our game with Man City now has been pushed to the Sunday (Jan. 3). So the schedule meant that we couldn’t play and Aston Villa also wanted to play on the Tuesday, they wanted an extra day, and so did we. But we got overruled by both the Premier League and the broadcasters.”

Lampard wasn’t done hitting out at the league and their television partners. He continued:

“I know sometimes [with] the Premier League, the blame can be sat at the broadcasters and the Premier League. I know in conjunction with each other, this was bounced around, it got decided that we play twice in 48 hours, when other teams that are challenging at the top of the league play twice in three days.

“In the old, old days, they used to play back-to-back. For some reason someone’s taken it back in time, when we have the best product in the world and we want to see the best players on the pitch.”

So what will this squad rotation look like?

It appears Hakim Ziyech will remain unavailable, due to his hamstring problem. Olivier Giroud didn’t feature against Arsenal, so he may come into the team here, as should Callum Hudson-Odoi and Billy Gilmour.

During this recent stretch, which as seen three losses in their last four games, Christian Pulisic has been a rare bright spot, so he should stay in the first team. Timo Werner was once again poor, and his effort was substandard as well.

He’ll probably be dropped, as will his countryman and fellow summer acquisition Kai Havertz, who’s really had a rough go of it lately. This also looks like a game where Antonio Rudiger gets in the first XI. Here’s how we see the rest of it shaping out.

Chelsea FC Starting XI Prediction (4-3-3) vs Aston Villa

Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, Emerson; Jorginho, Gilmour, Mount; Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Giroud

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of  “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Powered by

Speak Your Mind