Chelsea entertain Aston Villa in a showdown that could galvanize either side in their Premier League campaign.

Stamford Bridge would hold its breath when Aston Villa visit as Chelsea look to improve their home form given the tumultuous campaign they had last time out. The Blues had one of their worst seasons in the Premier League era when an unexpected change of ownership prompted a massive upheaval on and off the pitch.

Mauricio Pochettino has walked into the managerial door with the aim of revitalizing Chelsea and getting them performing as they bid to challenge for the biggest prizes in European football. 

They kicked off the new era with a commendable draw against Liverpool but all of that positivity evaporated in their first away game which ended 3-1 in favour of West Ham. 

Chelsea expectedly turned it around at home to Luton but failed to build on that first league win with a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest just before the international break. 

The Londoners have the upper hand in head-to-head meetings having won three of their last five league games against Aston Villa. Given that the Villains have been either spectacular or bizarre so far, the Blues will hope it is the latter who rock up to West London especially as they lost their last away league game 3-0 at Anfield. 

Pochettino’s men have been defensively better than Villa but it is in attack where they have struggled for balance amidst injuries. Nevertheless, their only home league win this season came against the newly-promoted Hatters. 

The Blues will have to be more clinical than they’ve been all season in order to get the maximum points against Villa which could boost their confidence for upcoming challenges.

Aston Villa are back in European football after a 13-year absence which was brought about by their impressive turnaround since Unai Emery took charge.

A promising season began in calamitous fashion with a 5-1 defeat at Newcastle but they made amends in a 4-0 win against Everton. Another win at Burnley followed but Villa’s lack of consistency was shown in the 3-0 loss at Liverpool. 

The Lions are entertainers with each of their games averaging at least three goals scored, they will be confident of breaching Chelsea’s embryonic defence with many of their players already delivering goal contributions.

Yet, they have a poor record at Chelsea having won just two of their last 18 Premier League games there although they had a 2-0 success on their last visit to Stamford Bridge which proved Graham Potter’s last game in the Chelsea hotseat. 

Emery’s men possess the discipline and tactical acumen to repeat that performance as Chelsea struggle to finish off teams in front of their own fans. 

Match tickets

This fixture will take place on Sunday 24 September after it was originally scheduled for Saturday 23 September but got pushed back due to Aston Villa’s away engagement at Legia Warsaw in the Europa Conference League on the preceding Thursday. The game starts at 2 pm UK time but it will not be broadcast live on UK television.

Tickets for the match have been on sale via each individual club’s website but it is almost certainly going to be a sell out despite Chelsea’s dwindling form since last season. It will not be easy to get Chelsea vs Aston Villa tickets via official channels so supporters may have to find theirs on a ticket reselling site. 

Team news

Wesley Fofana, Nathaniel Chalobah, Marcus Bettinelli, Christopher Nkunku and Carney Chukwuemeka are definitely ruled out for the game but Chelsea have more positive news concerning captain Reece James who has returned to individual training with the ball. 

Armando Broja and Benoit Badiashile are long-term absentees who could finally make a return to the matchday squad for this game. 

Villa will have Tyronne Mings and Emiliano Buendia ruled out with long-term knee injuries while Kortney Hause, Jacob Ramsey, Diego Carlos and Tim Iroegbunam are also unavailable. Meanwhile, Bertrand Traore is nearing a return but might only make do with a place on the bench. 


Chelsea fans will hope to see more attacking players on the pitch given they started the season in a back-three shape due to injuries in the attacking areas. Cole Palmer, Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk will be vying for two attacking spots alongside Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson.

A more balanced front four should see Ben Chilwell revert to his natural left-back position while Levi Colwill shifts inside to the centre of defence.  

Chelsea: Sanchez; Gusto, Silva, Colwill, Chilwell; Caicedo, Enzo; Madueke, Palmer, Sterling; Jackson

A shift to three central defenders has been thrown out the window given the absence of Carlos so Nicolo Zaniolo will be looking to get a start in attacking midfield as he settles into life in Birmingham. Emery likes his players to be versatile in order to be adaptable to different tactical shapes to counter their opponents, this means the system would change with the same players as the game goes on.  

Villa are expected to surrender territory to the home side and look to hit them on the counter, a tactic which has cost the blues on many occasions at home. Douglas Luiz and Boubacar Kamara will play a massive role in central midfield as they protect the defence and launch quick breaks forward with passes to John McGinn, Moussa Diaby and flying full-backs Matty Cash and Lucas Digne. 

Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne; Kamara, Luiz; McGinn, Diaby, Zaniolo; Watkins


Chelsea are undoubtedly finding their feet in the early months of Pochettino’s reign so it is yet unclear what to expect of the Blues on matchday despite some encouraging signs in their average possession, expected goals and shots. 

Villa, on the other hand, are a very dangerous side with enough attacking tools to cause another gloomy afternoon at Stamford Bridge. The goals will certainly flow and it is up to Chelsea to either attempt to thwart them or simply score more. 

Chelsea 2-3 Aston Villa