Aston Villa will host Chelsea at Villa Park on Sunday knowing that securing a draw against the Blues will have a massive impact in their fight for survival in the top flight.
Villa are currently 19th in the league, one point adrift of safety while Chelsea will take to the pitch knowing that they must see off games against lower oppositions if they want to achieve qualification to the Champions League.
Chelsea dominated the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge, comfortably winning the game 2-1, but lost out on a clean sheet after Trezeguet fired the ball into the Blues net for an equalizer before Mason Mount scored to secure the win.
When and Where?
When: Sunday, June 21
Where: Villa Park
Time: 16:15 GMT
Recent Form :
Aston Villa – (W L L L D)
Villa had suffered three straight losses in the league prior to the break and are currently 19th in the table.
They earned a valuable point against Sheffield United on Wednesday and will look to build on that momentum to atleast snatch a point from the upcoming fixture against Chelsea which should be enough to lift them out of the bottom three.
Chelsea – (D D L W D W)
Chelsea were arguably at their best before the break, conquering Liverpool in a 2-0 win in the FA Cup and then putting four goals past Everton to secure their 14th win of the season. With the race for the top four now nearing its finish, the Blues will look to avoid any slip ups and sweep up what should be a comfortable win.
Frank Lampard in his pre-match briefing on Friday revealed that Fikayo Tomori had suffered a muscle injury which would keep him out for the next ten days or so. It means that the Blues will most probably deploy Rudiger and Kurt Zouma as their two centre-half on Sunday.
Callum Hudson-Odoi will also be in out of contention after suffering a minor injury in training but we could see him make a return against Manchester City up next in the league.
Chelsea supporters have massively missed seeing Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has been out injured for over a year, and we could finally see him take to the pitch against Villa on Sunday. The return of the powerhouse midfielder will provide Lampard some breathing space after injury concerns to Kanté and Kovacic had vastly limited his options in midfield this season.
Dean Smith will also look to the stick to the same midfield three as their match against Sheffield but we may see some rotation in the backline with the introduction of Elmohamady at right-back and Kortney Hause replaced by Ezri Konsa who did a fine job in defense on Wednesday. Keinan Davis did not have the best of games against Sheffield up front and Smith will look to start Samatta instead, hoping the forward can get a goal or two against the Londoners.
Aston Villa: Nyland; Elmohamday, Tyrone Mings, Konsa, Target; Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Hourihane; Grealish, El Ghazi, Samatta.
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, Reece James; Barkley, Gilmour, Kovacic; Mount, Abraham, Pulisic.
Aston Villa 0-2 Chelsea