Predicted line-ups: Chelsea vs Aston Villa
(Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

Dean Smith will take his Aston Villa side to the capital on Saturday to face Chelsea.

Thomas Tuchel's Blues will be hoping to get back to winning ways and the Villans will be praying the loss of their Argentinian stars won't be noticed.

Goalkeepers

The goalkeeping department offers the most controversy for this weekend's upcoming match at Stamford Bridge. Due to government restrictions, Emiliano Martínez will be unavailable for selection after representing Argentina in Brazil. The same applies for midfielder Emiliano Buendía. This will have an understandable impact on the Villa side, Martínez has been a man-mountain between the posts since joining from Arsenal. The responsibility lies on Jed Steer's shoulders.

Édouard Mendy will be expected to keep his place in the team for Chelsea.

Defenders

Chelsea stalwart Thiago Silva will be unavailable, due to FIFA suspending him, similarly to the situation regarding Martínez and Buendía. This will be a blow for Tuchel's side as they are also without Reece James, as he serves his suspension following a red card at Anfield last time out.

Villa will be boosted by the return of captain Tyrone Mings, who featured for England during the international break. He should be lined up alongside regular partner Ezri Konsa, despite hobbling off towards the end of their previous fixture.

Midfielders

Another boost comes Dean Smith's way as he welcomes the return of both John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey after isolating following positive Covid tests. The midfield pair were arguably Villa's best two players against Newcastle and were sorely missed against Brentford, so their return will bring a needed lift to the squad.

Morgan Sanson, Bertrand Traoré and Leon Bailey have all returned to training and are in contention for the game Saturday evening. This comes at a good time for the Villans as they need to replace Buendía.

Chelsea will be without Christian Pulisic and N'Golo Kanté is a doubt. Kante's energy in midfield would be a great loss, however new signing Saúl Ñíguez could debutize in the Frenchman's absence.

Strikers

Chelsea have been rocked by the news that new signing Romelu Lukaku is a doubt for the match, which comes as great news for Villa fans. However these reports have not been confirmed by Chelsea as of yet.

Villa fans can expect Ollie Watkins to make his first start of the season after making a short cameo against his former club Brentford last time out. The matter of whether both Watkins and Danny Ings can play in the same side remains unanswered.

Chelsea predicted starting XI:

Mendy; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger, Alonso; Jorginho, Kovacic; Mount, Havertz, Lukaku.

Aston Villa predicted starting XI:

Steer; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, Ramsey, McGinn; Young, Watkins, Ings.

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