|Chelsea must beat Villa or slide further off the pace in the league. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Chelsea can be said to be in a good place after the exit of Thomas Tuchel and the arrival of Graham Potter to Stamford Bridge; the Blues have won back-to-back games in the champions league as well as in the premier league.
The latest was the emphatic 3-0 win over Wolves last weekend, a follow-up last-gasp on the last gasp win over Crystal Palace the other weekend. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling are beginning to form a great partnership and it can only get better.
Aston Villa extended the contract of Douglas Luiz in the course of the week after the club survived Arsenal’s approach for the Brazilian on deadline day, this is believed to add grit and balance to their midfield in the course of the season.
Where is Villa right now? The club is struggling, failure to beat Nottingham Forest last time out left a bad taste in their mouths but an away point is something to cherish; another point against Leeds the week before looked worse considering they played against ten men.
How will they line up? Chelsea will be clear favorites in this game and they will only have themselves to blame if they fail to pick maximum points. Chelsea will go all out and dominate possession but who will replace Reece James out wide?
The England right-back is injured and could miss the World Cup after a scan reveals he will need eight weeks to recover. Aston Villa can exploit the right-hand side with the aging Cesar Azpilicueta the only option at RCB, leaving Ruben Loftus Cheek as the wingback if Potter goes for three at the back.
Villa will need Ollie Watkins to become better. He has been poor in front of the goal and Danny Ings might have to be called upon. Philippe Coutinho hasn’t been the same man since the middle of last season and Leon Bailey also needs to pull his weight.