Chelsea Vs Aston Villa Match Preview (1 Viewer)

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Continuing their pursuit of a domestic cup double, Chelsea are aiming for a spot in the fifth round of the FA Cup as they host Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Friday evening.

The Blues are riding high after securing a spot in the EFL Cup final with a resounding 6-1 victory over Middlesbrough. Aston Villa, coincidentally, also defeated Middlesbrough in the third round of the FA Cup. Mauricio Pochettino, in his first season as Chelsea's head coach, is on the brink of claiming his first trophy in English football after an impressive run in the EFL Cup.

After an initial setback with a 1-0 loss to Middlesbrough in the first leg, Chelsea staged a remarkable comeback with goals from Cole Palmer, an own goal from Jonathan Howson, Axel Disasi, Enzo Fernandez, and Noni Madueke securing their place in the final at Wembley. However, before they can think about Wembley, Chelsea must first focus on the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Aston Villa.

Chelsea's recent form at Stamford Bridge has been formidable, with seven consecutive home wins across all competitions. However, they face a tough challenge as Aston Villa, under the guidance of Unai Emery, come into the match buoyed by their recent FA Cup victory against Middlesbrough.

Aston Villa's win over Middlesbrough ended a streak of seven successive third-round exits in the FA Cup, providing them with a confidence boost ahead of their clash with Chelsea. While Chelsea has historically been dominant at Stamford Bridge, Villa will take inspiration from their recent successes against the Blues and aim to cause an upset.

INJURIES & SUSPENSION

With only 72 hours between cup matches, Pochettino and his medical team are conducting thorough assessments of Tuesday's starters. Fortunately, no serious fitness issues have emerged from Chelsea's decisive win over Middlesbrough.

However, several players including Christopher Nkunku, Lesley Ugochukwu, Marc Cucurella, Robert Sanchez, Wesley Fofana, Romeo Lavia, Malo Gusto, and Reece James will remain sidelined due to various injuries. Nicolas Jackson is still unavailable as he represents Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations.

There's a possibility of Nkunku and Gusto returning for the next match against Liverpool, but Ben Chilwell may need more time to regain full fitness.

Aston Villa is also dealing with absences due to the Africa Cup of Nations, with Bertrand Traore remaining away with Burkina Faso. Long-term injuries to Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings persist, while Lucas Digne is also sidelined with a thigh issue. Pau Torres, Jacob Ramsey, and Robin Olsen are also out of contention.

Emery might have considered including Jhon Duran after Moussa Diaby's lackluster performance against Everton, but Duran is also unavailable due to injury.

POSSIBLE LINE-UPS

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Petrovic; Disasi, Badiashile, Silva, Colwill; Caicedo, Fernandez; Madueke, Gallagher, Palmer; Broja

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Moreno; Bailey, Luiz, Kamara, McGinn; Watkins, Diaby

EXPERT PREDICTION

Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa
We shouldn't expect Chelsea to replicate their impressive six-goal performance against Middlesbrough this Friday, especially as Pochettino's Aston Villa team comes into the match with 11 days of rest. However, Aston Villa has struggled to find attacking sharpness in their recent matches.

Chelsea has overcome their previous struggles at Stamford Bridge and has depth in all areas of the field. With this in mind, we believe Chelsea will secure another home victory as they continue their quest for dual cup successes.
 

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