Chelsea vs Aston Villa preview: How to watch, kick off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
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Chelsea will host Aston Villa this weekend at Stamford Bridge in a Saturday night Premier League clash between two teams who most recently met at the end of last season.

The Blues have had a positive start to the season, beating London rivals Crystal Palace and Arsenal, as well as earning a point away at Liverpool with 10 men.

Currently in second place in the table, Thomas Tuchel will hope his side can continue to fight around the top of the league, particularly with a huge game against Tottenham Hotspur the following weekend.

On the other side, Aston Villa have had a slightly more mixed beginning, losing their opening game to newly-promoted Watford but since picking up a win and a draw.

That said, this is by far Dean Smith's side's toughest test yet, so how they cope against such a high quality opposition will be exciting to witness.

Team News

Chelsea

Tuchel spoke to the media and said: 'Unfortunately we have two players out: N'Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic. N'Golo got injured against Liverpool and still suffers a little bit. For Christian, he came back [...] on crutches. He had an ankle injury with about 10 days out.'

Losing N'Golo Kante is never good for a coach, though the backup is certainly there, especially with the new signing of Saul Niguez, and Christian Pulisic's replacements are not short in number either, with a plethora of players available.

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Also out will be Thiago Silva, due to a five-day football suspension, and Reece James, as a result of his red card in the previous game before the international hiatus. 

Aston Villa

During his press conference, Dean Smith told the media: 'We're missing Carney Chukwuemeka, he got injured on England duty, but we've got some healthy individuals coming back, [including] Ollie Watkins, Leon Bailey, Bertrand Traore, Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn.'

The return of such a wide variety of players will be hugely welcome to the Villa boss, and he will hope that they can all, (though Leon Bailey in particular, as will be discussed later), contribute to the team this weekend.

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Other absences include Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez as a result of them quarantining following international duty with their countries.

Predicted Lineups

Chelsea (3-4-3):

Mendy; Chalobah, Rudiger, Christensen; Azpilicueta, Saul, Jorginho, Chilwell; Mount, Lukaku, Havertz

Aston Villa (4-1-4-1):

Steer; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz; Bailey, McGinn, Young, El Ghazi; Ings

Form Guide

Chelsea

With four competitive games under their belts, the Blues look to be in fine form under the management of Tuchel, coming off the back of a Champions League triumph in May.​​

They've already picked up a trophy in the form of the Super Cup and followed that up with two strong wins, and then a defensive masterclass against Liverpool two weeks ago, meaning they look to be on something of a roll coming into this fixture.

Aston Villa

Dean Smith's side have had a more difficult opening few weeks, despite playing arguably weaker sides than that of the Blues' first fixtures.

However, their form has improved since their opening day defeat, and it's worth mentioning their 6-0 victory over Barrow in the EFL Cup, which allowed various youth players to get their chance in the side.

Ones To Watch

Romelu Lukaku

After scoring on his debut against Arsenal in a 2-0 win at the Emirates, Romelu Lukaku found his second game back for the Blues a slightly more difficult affair, particularly in the second half.

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However, with a somewhat leaky Villa defence on display this weekend, the Belgian will hope to add to his tally quickly and take advantage of absences in the opposition.

He has already shown how he can utilise his extraordinary strength even against the toughest of opponents, but whether he can do so again remains to be seen.

Leon Bailey

Since signing during this summer's transfer window, Leon Bailey has thus far only played in one game for Villa, that being the opening day defeat to Watford previously mentioned.

He arrived with much hype after his huge talent was displayed at Bayer Leverkusen, at which he scored 39 goals and also amassed 26 assists in 156 appearances for the German side.

Unfortunately, he hasn't had much of a chance to replicate that form with his new club due to a minor injury, but watch out for him in this weekend's game.

Previous Five Meetings

In recent history, this fixture has been relatively one-sided, in Chelsea's favour, but one result in particular stands out as an exception to that trend.

Back in April 2016, the Blues travelled to Villa Park to play a Premier League match against a struggling Aston Villa side and they promptly dispatched them, winning 4-0.

Goals came from a certain Ruben Loftus-Cheek, an Alexandre Pato debut penalty, as well as a brace from Spaniard Pedro, consigning their opponents to eventual relegation a few weeks later.

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The next meeting between the two teams didn't come until December 2019, when Dean Smith and his side were promoted to the top flight once again, though this wasn't a fixture to remember for them.

It was also a return to Stamford Bridge for John Terry, and he'll have had mixed feelings as Chelsea edged past 2-1, with the winner coming from Mason Mount in a relatively tight game.

Following the lockdown in the UK, the first fixture for Chelsea in a strange empty stadium world, set to become all too familiar, was against Villa, in which they again were victorious by two goals to nil.

It saw the start of Christian Pulisic's purple patch in the summer of 2020, as he netted the equaliser before just two minutes later the ever-prolific Olivier Giroud put the Blues in front, where they then remained until the full time whistle.

Things started averting from the usual pattern a few months later however, when in late December 2020 the teams couldn't be separated at Stamford Bridge.

In truth, it was a game that reflected much of Frank Lampard's final few weeks in charge - drab, dry and in need of overhaul - with a 1-1 draw being just one of multiple results that led him to the sack.

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Finally, in the most recent meeting between the two, it was Aston Villa who came out on top, during a final day clash which, despite the result, was a positive one for Thomas Tuchel's Blues in the end.

The 2-1 loss could've spelt trouble in terms of Top Four, but as other results went their way, both sides went away happy, albeit for wildly different reasons.

How To Watch

This Premier League clash will be broadcast on Sky Sports in the UK at 5:30pm kick off time and over in the USA the action can be found on NBC.

You can also follow along with live updates from the match right here on VAVEL on our live blog page, from around two hours before the game gets underway.

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