Chelsea predicted line-up vs. Aston Villa: Four changes made including big Cole Palmer decision

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The latest Chelsea team news and predicted line-up plus updates on Cole Palmer ahead of the Premier League game against Aston Villa.

Chelsea will look to put their crushing midweek defeat against Arsenal behind them this weekend when they travel to Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Mauricio Pochettino will once again be drawing from a depleted squad, with as many as eleven players potentially unavailable for Saturday evening’s match – including talismanic forward Cole Palmer, who missed the match at the Emirates through illness.

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We’ve collected all of the latest team news and injury updates below and ventured our best guess at Pochettino’s starting eleven for a game which could prove crucial in determining the European placings – and if you’re looking for updates ahead of the Fantasy Premier League transfer deadline, you can also check out our high-flying manager’s latest advice column by clicking here.

Goalkeeper & Defence

Đorđe Petrović seems likely to continue between the sticks even if Robert Sánchez recovers from a recent illness, but there are two major doubts in the back line with the status of both Malo Gusto and Ben Chilwell (both knee) unclear.

Both missed the 5-0 defeat at the Emirates – Pochettino described Gusto’s injury as “minor” but hasn’t provided any further updates on his condition, while Chilwell continues to struggle with the injury that saw him miss out on the last England squad despite featuring against Manchester City last weekend in the FA Cup.

There has at least been good news with both Reece James (hamstring) and Levi Colwill (toe) returning to light training after lengthy lay-offs, but it is unlikely that either are ready to start this Saturday. Wesley Fofana (anterior cruciate ligament) will not play this season after picking up a serious injury in pre-season.

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The biggest question mark hangs over the head of key attacking playmaker Palmer, who was forced to sit out Tuesday’s defeat with an unspecified illness – reported in some quarters to have been a cold. Palmer has been pictured back in training, however, and it looks very likely that he will be able to play.

Elsewhere, World Cup winner Enzo Fernández’s season is over after he underwent surgery on an inguinal hernia. The midfielder hopes that the procedure will allow him to play a full part in Argentina’s Copa America campaign this summer, but he won’t feature again for Chelsea.

Lesley Ugochukwu (hamstring) remains out and faces an uphill battle to play again this season, while summer signing Roméo Lavia (thigh) has already been ruled out of the remainder of an injury-ridden debut campaign.


French forward Christopher Nkunku, who was signed for £52m this summer, is also back in light training after suffering a hamstring injury which has sidelined him for the last seven Premier League matches – but like James and Colwill, he is unlikely to play this weekend, with Nicolas Jackson expected to continue in the number nine role. Raheem Sterling, who played around 30 minutes against Arsenal, should be fit after recovering from a recent illness of his own.

Full predicted line-up vs. Aston Villa

Petrović; Cucurella, Silva, Disasi, Gusto; Gallagher, Caicedo, Palmer; Sterling, Madueke, Jackson.

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