What’s the mood been like at Stamford Bridge in these opening weeks?
Stamford Bridge is a happy place at the moment. The first few weeks have seen emphatic wins against Crystal Palace and Arsenal before an attention grabbing draw against Liverpool at Anfield.
The team also celebrated the UEFA Champions League trophy with the fans and the signing of Romelu Lukaku has lifted the expectations around the club.
It’s quite early in the season but everything is pointing to another special campaign for Thomas Tuchel’s men.
How do Chelsea fans feel about this game? Are they expecting three points?
Chelsea are riding high while Villa have had an indifferent start to the season. Fans will be massively disappointed if the team does not take all three points at stake.
Home fans will also be hoping to see their new signing Saul Niguez make his debut after joining from Atletico Madrid on deadline day.
Saul is a technically gifted midfielder who has played more than 300 games for the Spanish Champions. His arrival and possible debut has added to an already bouncing Stamford Bridge.
Are there any weaknesses in the Blues team you think Villa can exploit?
Is hard to find holes in the winning machine that Thomas Tuchel has built at the moment, they don’t concede a lot and control games even without having too much of the ball.
Last season, one of the concerns was that the team was not scoring enough goals but that has been arrested with the addition of Lukaku.
He comes in having scored 24 goals and 11 assists for Inter Milan last season. The Belgium international has wasted little time in settling after scoring on his debut against Arsenal.
I think Aston Villa play Chelsea at a time when everything is perfect for the European Champions, but football is such a strange game that it has a way of favouring the underdogs. A player could be sent off and the game turned on its head.
Villa were unbeaten against Chelsea last season - do you think that will play on Thomas Tuchel’s mind?
Villa had a special season and could have easily made it into the top four but for the late drop in form. It was still a hugely successful campaign compared to the relegation fight they were in the previous season.
Chelsea though are a different side now, psychologically and mentally so I doubt they will be hanging on to what happened last season.
Their batting performance against Liverpool despite being a man down for the entire second half points to a team looking for something special.
Any injuries / absences to report following the break?
There are a few concerns and players who will need to pass a late fitness test before the game.
Talisman Lukaku complained of stiffness of his knee, while high-performing midfielder N’golo Kante pulled out of the France team due to some discomfort in his hamstring.
Christian Pulisic had to be replaced in the USA’s game against Honduras.
Thiago Silva did not travel to Brazil and should have been in contention but the Brazil FA have written to FIFA asking that all their players be barred from playing for two weeks.
(Likely starting XI 3-4-3): Mendy; Alonso, James, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount, Havertz, Lukaku
Score prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Aston Villa. Most big teams struggle after the international break due to players returning from all over the world but Chelsea should still have enough to go past Villa.
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