Chelsea will be looking to secure Champions League football for next season when they travel to face Aston Villa on Sunday at 4pm (UK time).
The Blues are in pole position thanks to their 2-1 win over Leicester City in midweek, but still need to win to guarantee a top four finish. Aston Villa, meanwhile, are guaranteed to finish 11th and will be looking to end the campaign on a high in front of their fans.
How to live stream Aston Villa vs Chelsea online:
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Where to watch Aston Villa vs Chelsea on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Action
- US: USA Network
Aston Villa vs Chelsea predicted XIs:
Ross Barkley is ineligible to face his parent club, but was unlikely to start with Jack Grealish returning to the XI in midweek. He is joined by Morgan Sanson and Matty Cash on the sidelines. Andreas Christensen is available for selection for Chelsea after injury, but N’Golo Kante and Kai Havertz’s involvement remains to be seen (though they will both be back for the Champions League final).
- Aston Villa: Martinez; Konsa, Mings, Hause, Targett; Nakamba, McGinn; Traore, Grealish, El Ghazi; Watkins.
- Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso; Ziyech, Mount; Werner.
Can Werner end the Premier League season on a high?
This weekend the Chelsea players will not only be playing for a place in the top four, but also a spot in Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI in next week’s Champions League final. One man who will be looking to impress in particular is Timo Werner, at the end of what can only be described as a frustrating season for the German.
When Werner signed for Chelsea last summer, he was heralded as one of the final pieces of the Blues’ puzzle, expected to carry the goalscoring burden as he had done so brilliantly for RB Leipzig. However, his first campaign in England has seen Werner criticised by fans both from rival clubs and his own team, particularly with some Chelsea supporters pushing for Tammy Abraham to get the same opportunities.
In 34 Premier League games prior to the curtain closer on Sunday, Werner has scored six goals. While that is a poor return on the £45m Chelsea paid to bring the 25-year-old to Stamford Bridge, only Jorginho (seven) has more Premier League goals for the Blues this season, with all seven of the Italian’s coming from the penalty spot. Werner has also missed 18 Big Chances in the Premier League this season, with only Patrick Bamford (21), Chris Wood and Jamie Vardy (19) missing more.
The German also has the joint-worst Expected Goals to goals difference in the Premier League, at -5.5 alongside Sadio Mane (nine goals from 14.5 xG). However, Werner’s former RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann believes Tuchel can get the best out of the German, alongside better conditions.
“Thomas is a great coach and has shown in the past that he can make players better,” he told the Telegraph.
“Timo is a player that performs best when he is in his comfort zone, and I am still sure he will fit well in the Chelsea squad.
“Every striker goes through these periods once in a while. There have been times when Timo did not score in Leipzig as well.
“It is just a phase you have to get through. From a distance I would say it was a season with ups and downs.
“He started off well, scoring some goals at the beginning of the season, but he also had some tough times throughout this special campaign with an extremely tight schedule.”
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Premier League 2020/21 recent form:
- Aston Villa: WLDLW
- Chelsea: WLWWW
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