Date: Saturday 11th September, 2021
Time: 5:30 pm
Stadium: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Stuart Attwell (England)
Chelsea Team News
Chelsea will be without the services of James this weekend following his red card against Liverpool, while a FIFA-imposed suspension will also rule Thiago Silva out of the contest.
Romelu Lukaku suffered an injury scare while on international duty with Belgium, but the thigh problem is thought to be minor, and he will be available for the match.
N’Golo Kante will need to be assessed due to an ankle problem, and Tuchel will not take any risks, meaning that Jorginho could be joined in midfield by Mateo Kovacic, although new signing Saul Niguez is also an option for the hosts in the middle of the park.
James’s absence could see Cesar Azpilicueta switch to a wing-back role and allow Trevor Chalobah to come into the side in the middle of the defence.
The Blues will also be without the services of Christian Pulisic due to an ankle problem that the United States international suffered representing his country.
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Christensen, Chalobah, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso; Havertz, Lukaku, Mount
Chelsea Premier League form: WWD
Chelsea form (all competitions): WWWD
Aston Villa Team News
As for Villa, key duo Buendia and Emiliano Martinez will both be absent due to quarantine rules, while Trezeguet and Keinan Davis are both still on the sidelines.
Jacob Ramsey and Morgan Sanson remain doubts, but Ezri Konsa, Bailey and Bertrand Traore should all be available for the visitors, meaning that Smith does have options despite some key players being unavailable.
The Villa boss will want to be cautious at Stamford Bridge, but he will find it difficult to resist the temptation to start both fit-again Ollie Watkins and Ings, who has started the new campaign in impressive fashion.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Steer; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Bailey, McGinn, Luiz, El Ghazi; Ings, Watkins
Aston Villa Premier League form: LWD
Aston Villa form (all competitions): LWWD
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa