Chelsea vs Aston Villa will be an intriguing encounter this Saturday at Stamford Bridge (start time 12:30pm ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) as Thomas Tuchel’s side have struggled against Villa in recent seasons.
The Blues haven’t struggled this season so far, though, as Tuchel has rotated his squad expertly, they are unbeaten and Romelu Lukaku has added an extra dimension to their game. After an impressive draw away at Liverpool after going down to 10 men for over half the game, Chelsea look the real deal and genuine title contenders this season.
And after a busy international break for many Chelsea players, Tuchel will be thankful he has a large squad to choose from for this tricky test.
As for Villa, well, they’ve fared pretty well without Jack Grealish as the likes of Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendia have stepped up. Leon Bailey has too, when he’s been fit, and Villa have four points on the board through their first three games of the season.
Ings in particular will be keen keep his good start to the season going, while Dean Smith will be without key players Buendia and Emiliano Martinez after they returned from South America after they were at the center of the chaos of Brazil vs Argentina as the match was abandoned due to COVID-19 quarantine restrictions.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Chelsea vs Aston Villa.
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Chelsea team news, injuries
USMNT star Christian Pulisic suffered an ankle injury in the second half of their win at Honduras and always seemed unlikely to feature given the long distance he had to travel from the early hours of Thursday to get back to London.
Reece James is suspended, Thiago Silva’s starts despite a disagreement between the Brazilian FA and FIFA over players being released during the international break. Romelu Lukaku will start despite a thigh injury. N’Golo Kante is out.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 11, 2021
Aston Villa team news, injuries
Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez are both out due to quarantine regulations. Bertrand Traore is on the bench but returning from a thigh injury, while Morgan Sanson and Leon Bailey also return to the bench while Ezri Konsa is fit to start. Mohamed Trezeguet and Keinan Davis remain out, while young star Jacob Ramsey has tested positive for COVID-19.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 11, 2021
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Chelsea are the big favorites at -400, while Aston Villa are massive underdogs at +1000. The draw is +450.
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With a few key injuries and absentees to star players for both teams, this is all about the strength of your squad. Chelsea’s is stronger and it seems like they will just get them over the line. Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa.