Chelsea finally gets to play Aston Villa away. What do our contributors expect out of the Blues from this match that has been too long delayed?
The Blues have not played a match for over three months. They finally get to have their game against Aston Villa in a world that seems little the same as it was before. Regardless, our contributors are mostly expecting Chelsea to pick up where they left off at against Everton.
Varun Dani: Aston Villa 0-4 Chelsea
A fully fit Chelsea squad in top form would’ve been catastrophic for this Villa side, but since this is the just the first game back, expect to see plenty of rust. Villa will be sharper and hungrier for points but goals from Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic should see us through. Ruben Loftus-Cheek adding a fourth on his return would an idealistic touch.
Olaoluwa Nwobodo: 0-2 Chelsea
Chelsea has their best 11 available to them (whoever those are) and signings are being unveiled, this would alert the Chelsea players to the fact that competition for places just became fiercer. Anybody who is selected would know that he has to work twice as hard to stay in the place line up and those not selected would know that they have to work three times as hard. A win would be the perfect result for Chelsea seeing as Manchester United, Tottenham, and Sheffield United have all dropped points. The kids have performed okay under pressure this season so far, this shouldn’t be any different.
Michael DeVito: 1-3 Chelsea
Looking forward to Captain America’s return. I see him as a starter. Don’t have full confidence in the back line. Nor in the Keeper. Was spoiled by Petr Cech. Like a very tall keeper if he plays like Cech!
Gabe Henderson: 0-4 Chelsea
The Blues are going to come out firing on all cylinders in this one. Despite not being as match fit as Villa in terms of experience, Chelsea will come out looking sharp. The Blues, much like in the reverse fixture, will dominate possession and get a ton of looks at goal. With a relatively healthy squad, they’re going to put on a wonderful display at Villa Park and capitalize on all of their opposition’s missed chances over the last few days.
Oliver Smith: 0-3 Chelsea
The long rest has given everyone time to recover from injuries and the main beneficiaries to that will be Pulisic and Abraham. Pulisic will feed the striker for the opening two goals. Abraham will want to show he is no slouch after the Timo Werner signing. Loftus-Cheek will come off the bench and pop in a trademark defense splitting run and curling finish to put a fine end in Chelsea’s return to the Premier League. (Keep an eye out for a lung bursting tireless effort from Mount all game).
Siddharth Bharani-Dharan: 0-4 Chelsea
The Blues have nearly every player ready and fit for this match. Chelsea’s attack will be strong right from the beginning. Having five substitutes will help keep the team pretty fresh and will keep the quality of play higher. Tammy will come out strong along with Pulisic. Loftus-Cheek’s long awaited return will be a strong one. He provides energy off of the bench and will make a difference. As long as the defense can stay intact, this is an easy match for Chelsea.
Tan Yi Hao: 1-1 Draw
In part due to a desire to play the devil’s advocate and in part due to a fear of jinxing the Blues with my predictions, a 1-1 draw prediction seems befitting for all intents and purposes. Aston Villa are not push overs by any means as demonstrated in their 0-0 draw against Sheffield United. The long layoff due to COVID-19 has seemingly allowed calmer minds to prevail and Aston Villa actually put in a rare, defensively sound performance. As draws and defeats to Chelsea’s closest rivals would go to show, no match can be taken for granted and Chelsea would have to come flying off the blocks to secure a result against relegation threatened Villa. It’s the first game back for the Blues and a 1-1 draw would certainly not prove an impossible scoreline.
Kevin Peacock: 0-2 Chelsea
Chelsea had such a good game against Everton last time out that the reality may not meet the expectation in this game. However, Chelsea appear to have prepared well, at least off field, during the lock down. Their closest rivals for Champions League football have, so far, resisted the urge to pull away or catch up and Villa are hovering on the brink of relegation. On paper this looks like an easy win, if only that’s how it worked out. Frank Lampard though, will have his side well motivated and home advantage counts for nothing in the “new normal”. Chelsea will run out winners 2-0 without breaking sweat. Tambraham, of course, will bag both goals against his former side.
Scott Brant: 1-2 Chelsea
Everyone is rusty. But the Blues will pull it out with a late winner from god only knows who, but it will be great to be watching Chelsea again.
Abhishek Pancholi: 1-3 Chelsea
Both teams will look like they are relearning how to play and it won’t be pretty, but Chelsea will have enough in the tank to get all three points.
Travis Tyler: 1-2 Chelsea
Because everything has just gone so well this week for the Blues, they will inevitably fall behind early to a really silly goal they should not have conceded. Many nervy minutes later, Tammy Abraham finally puts the knife to his former loanee club late on. A controversial decision allows Mason Mount to put the match winner in as the game looks the have already ended.
Nate Hofmann: 1-2 Chelsea
Let’s make an assumption: a ball that crosses the line is a goal. It took the suspension of that most basic tenet of football for Villa to just barely hold onto a goalless draw against Sheffield United in the Premier League’s glorious return on Wednesday. If Chelsea can play with any real quality at all, this shouldn’t be a difficult match. Fitness is the most important thing here. How will Villa cope with two matches in five days after 100 days off? They looked well off the pace against Sheffield. Will Chelsea’s collection of spry whippersnappers be a bit more immune to the atrophy brought on by the long layoff? I think so, and the goals will follow. Villa do deserve at least a bit of respect, if only because they’ve actually played a competitive game of football in the past three months. They’ll grab an early one, which Chelsea will quickly offset and eventually overcome.
Ishan Shah: 1-3 Chelsea
I’m expecting a strong start from both teams with Chelsea raring to go and Villa looking to catch Chelsea out early on. I see it being a cagey first half but given the strength of Chelsea’s bench. I do not think Villa will be able to sustain the pressure that Chelsea will apply in the second half. It would be great to keep a clean sheet, but its something that has not come by easily this season and I do not expect that to change.
What score do you predict upon Chelsea’s return? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!