USMNT youngster Matt Miazga starts for Chelsea at Aston Villa

Chelsea FC
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What a day for the big man.

U.S. international Matt Miazga, 20, will make his debut for Chelsea as the New Jersey native was selected a center back against Aston Villa on Saturday (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

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It is a first-ever Premier League start for the New York Red Bulls academy product who has had a handful of appearances on the bench since he arrived from Major League Soccer in January.

He also becomes the first-ever American to play for Chelsea.

With John Terry and Kurt Zouma out injured, plus no room on the bench for Gary Cahill on Saturday, Miazga will stake his claim to stick around next season at Stamford Bridge rather than being loaned out under the new incoming manager (believed to be Antonio Conte) when he arrives.

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This is a big chance for the youngster who made his debut for Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. national team last November in a 2018 World Cup qualifier. Miazga was with Andi Herzog’s U.S. U-23 side last week as they lost to Colombia over two legs (he was sent off  in the second leg) in the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifier, but just 48 hours after returning to England he will come up against struggling Villa.

Rudy Gestede starts up top for Villa and the bruising forward is exceptional in the air, meaning Miazga and his central defensive partner Branislav Ivanovic will have to be disciplined and focused.

Miazga is touted as the next great American hope and now he has a chance to prove just how good he is as he makes his debut for Chelsea.

Americans everywhere will watch on with intrigue and Miazga may get plenty of minutes in the remaining eight matches of the season as the Blues are highly unlikely to reach the top four and are out of Europe and the cup competitions.

Guus Hiddink believes this is the perfect time to blood some youngsters and many years from now we may look back at Miazga’s debut today as pivotal to whether or not he flourishes in Europe.