Chelsea must prove they're not a spent force when Aston Villa visits on Sunday. (Photo credit: 90min.com)
Chelsea vs. Aston VillaStamford Bridge2:00pm
|Chelsea must prove they're not a spent force when Aston Villa visits on Sunday. (Photo credit: 90min.com)|
It’s a difficult time to be a Chelsea fan, with the Blues struggling at the start of the Premier League season. Just one win in five games—a run that includes a home loss to Nottingham Forest—has Chelsea in the 14th spot on the log.
Chelsea endured a goalless draw away at Bournemouth last weekend, but they would feel lucky with Robert Sanchez standing tall to repel everything the Cherries threw at him. Luton Town remains the only team the Blues have been able to beat this season in the league.
Aston Villa came from behind twice but eventually lost their Europa League game on Thursday. Unai Emery’s men lost 3-2 to Legia Warsaw, but the experience of the former Sevilla man sees the club ranked among the favourites for the trophy.
It’s a little topsy-turvy for Villa in the league. A win in every other game leaves Villa with three wins in five, but there are no in-betweens for them; they either win well or lose heavily. A trip to Stamford Bridge could change that, with Chelsea also needing a result.
It’s interesting to see how Chelsea lines up. Armando Broja and Benoit Badiashile are both back in training, but the likes of Reece James, Christopher Nkunku, Carney Chukwuemeka, Moises Caicedo, and Romeo Lavia are all long-term absentees.
Ben Chilwell could be named in the starting lineup as a left winger, with Mkykhalo Mudryk struggling for form. Raheem Sterling is expected to start with Leslie Ugochukwu having a good run in the midfield alongside Connor Gallagher.
Aston Villa needs Ollie Watkins to start scoring. The Villa striker has not found the back of the net this season, and that is beginning to feel like a confidence problem. Moussa Diaby is proving to be worth the whole transfer hassle, and John McGinn is performing well too.
Defensive issues remain at Villa. Diego Carlos has joined Kourtney Hause and Tyron Mings on the sidelines, and Emery has only Pau Torres and Ezri Konsa as the only recognized centre-backs on his first team.
This game will go to the side that wants it more. Chelsea needs to start scoring goals, and you wonder where that would come from. Nicolas Jackson can’t find the back of the net, and that must be a concern for Mauricio Pochettino.