Aston Villa predicted XI against Chelsea as Dean Smith makes four changes
Aston Villa is finally returning to the Premier League now that the international break is over.
Dean Smith’s side travel to Chelsea for a top-level clash at Stamford Bridge in front of TV cameras (5.30pm).
Smith has been bolstered by the return of Leon Bailey from a hamstring injury while Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn are again available for selection after missing the Brentford game last time through isolation due to the coronavirus.
Bertrand Traoré is back in training after recovering from a hamstring problem while Trezeguet remains recovering from surgery on a serious knee injury suffered in April.
Keinan Davis is also absent while the young couple Carney Chukwuemeka and Jaden Philogene-Bidace are also sidelined.
Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia are in quarantine due to their participation in Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers, forcing Smith to at least two changes.
The head coach will also welcome Morgan Sanson to the squad after his recovery from an injury that ruled out Marseille signing in January in the last nine games of last season.
Martinez’s replacement will be Jed Steer, with his place on the substitutes bench being taken by 19-year-old rookie Viljami Sinisalo.
Steer is a ready and capable replacement, who helped Villa rise to the Premier League two years ago and replaced Tom Heaton after his injury last year.
Villa, meanwhile, will be sadly missed by Buendia and I hope that doesn’t delay the signing of the Norwich City club record too much as he won’t be able to train with Smith’s men.
Tyrone Mings, who played for England on Sunday after recovering from a cracked rib, is back in shape and will replace Axel Tuanzebe in defense.
This means Steer will line up in goal with Matty Cash, Mings, Ezri Konsa and Matt Targett in front of him.
Subscribe to our Aston Villa newsletter by clicking HERE
In midfield it will likely be Douglas Luiz, McGinn and Ramsey as Smith returns to the three who played against Newcastle.
Ollie Watkins is back in shape after recovering from a bruised knee, but he’s unlikely to replace Danny Ings, who has played every minute of Villa’s season with two goals and an assist to show his efforts .
On offense, Smith could continue with Ashley Young and Anwar El Ghazi alongside Ings, with crucial up-front experience against experienced Chelsea defense.
On the bench there will be plenty of options to stretch the game if Villa can keep Chelsea’s forwards silent.
With Watkins and Bailey on the bench, Smith has two powerful points of attack and a creator in Sanson.
Similarly if Villa finds himself in the opposite situation with Tuanzebe and Kortney Hause, the defenders risk being on the bench.
Who do you think should play for Villa against Chelsea? Give your opinion in the comments section …
Read more: Transfer theory emerges on ‘brilliant’ deal
Read more: Villa transfer January tip