Aston Villa predicted line-up vs. Chelsea: two changes made as £15m key midfielder returns

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The latest Aston Villa team news and predicted line-up ahead of the crucial Premier League game against Chelsea.

Aston Villa will continue their charge towards a potential Champions League place when they host Chelsea at Villa Park on Saturday evening, with the visitors looking to bounce back from a crushing midweek Premier League defeat against Arsenal.

Unai Emery will have some injury issues to navigate with Alex Moreno and Nicolò Zaniolo among the doubts, but he will have been boosted by the unexpectedly early return of full-back Matty Cash for the games against Lille and Bournemouth last week, while Douglas Luiz is also available again.

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We’ve collected all of the latest team news and injury updates ahead of a game which could prove crucial in the battle for European placings – and if you’re looking for some information to help you pick your Fantasy Premier League team, you can also check out our high-flying manager’s regular advice column by clicking here.

Goalkeeper & Defence

Left-back Alex Moreno has been struggling with his fitness in recent weeks and the Spaniard picked up a fresh calf problem before the game against Bournemouth. Emery has described the injury as “small” but also predicted that he would miss at least two weeks, which if accurate would rule him out this weekend and make him a doubt for next Sunday’s match away to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Tyrone Mings is the only other confirmed absentee with the centre-back continuing his recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury picked up at St. James’ Park on the opening day of the season. Poland international Cash, who hadn’t been expected back until this weekend at the earliest, could be in contention again after coming through 90 minutes against Bournemouth, although it’s possible that Ezri Konsa plays on the right if Diego Carlos is called upon again.


There is a major question mark over the availability of Italian winger Zaniolo, who was substituted half an hour into Villa’s eventual Europa Conference League victory over Lille last Thursday. Emery has been coy about a likely return date, simply telling reporters that the club would have to wait to find out how serious it was and that “hopefully” it wasn’t too bad. With no further updates ahead of Emery’s pre-match press conference, it is impossible to say whether he is likely to feature.

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Elsewhere, Jacob Ramsey (toe), Boubacar Kamara and Emiliano Buendía (both ACL) are out for the season. Villa will, however, be boosted by the return of key midfielder Luiz, who has completed a two-match suspension which was enforced after the Brazilian collected ten yellow cards across the course of the season. His comeback could see Emery return to a 4-4-2 formation with John McGinn returning to a wide role.


There are no fresh injury issues up front, with Ollie Watkins ready to lead the line once again and Moussa Diaby likely to keep his place in the supporting role after scoring Villa’s second in the 3-1 defeat of Bournemouth. The visitors, meanwhile, will be sweating on the health of star player Cole Palmer, who missed their 5-0 defeat at the Emirates through illness. It is not yet clear whether he will feature on Saturday.

Full predicted line-up vs. Chelsea

Martínez; Digne, Torres, Carlos, Konsa; McGinn, Tielemans, Luiz, Rogers; Diaby, Watkins.

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