Leon Bailey returns for Aston Villa after recovering from the muscle issue that caused him to miss Monday’s draw at Nottingham Forest.

Matty Cash and Cameron Archer have minor niggles but are both available.

Chelsea full-back Reece James will see a specialist over the weekend amid concerns he might miss the World Cup because of a knee injury.

N’Golo Kante has suffered a setback in his recovery, while Wesley Fofana is unlikely to be fit before Christmas.



I think the feeling among Aston Villa fans is that the jury is out on Steven Gerrard at the moment.

It’s as much to do with Villa’s style of play as their results – that’s becoming a problem but he is hardly likely to change and be expansive against Chelsea, because they will be a nightmare to play against.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is scoring goals and Graham Potter is showing how adaptable he is as a manager.

Villa will be under pressure to win at home, and I can see the nerves getting the better of their players.



  • Aston Villa’s solitary victory in the past 10 league meetings came at home on the final day of the 2020-21 season (D1, L8).
  • Chelsea have won six of their last eight away Premier League games against Aston Villa, as many as they had in their first 19 visits.

Aston Villa

  • Villa are on a four-match unbeaten run but have won only four times in 20 league fixtures, losing 10.
  • They can earn successive Premier League home victories in the same season for the first time since January 2021.
  • Their only win in the past 15 league games against London opposition was 2-1 at Crystal Palace last November.
  • Only Wolves have scored fewer Premier League goals than the seven by Villa this season.
  • Aston Villa’s last nine league goals were scored by nine different players.
  • Philippe Coutinho has scored one goal and provided no assists in his past 20 Premier League appearances.
  • Ezri Konsa is expected to make his 100th Premier League appearance.


  • Chelsea have won three league games in a row and are looking to earn consecutive clean sheets in the division for the first time since March.
  • The Blues could lose as many as three of their opening five away games of a Premier League season for the second time, having done so in 2015-16.
  • Raheem Sterling is one short of 50 Premier League away goals. He hasn’t scored in any of his four league appearances at Villa Park.
  • Graham Potter’s two wins in 10 attempts as a manager against Aston Villa both came at Villa Park: 3-0 for Swansea in the 2018-19 FA Cup third round and 2-1 for Brighton in the 2020-21 Premier League.
  • Potter has taken 19 points out of a possible 24 in his eight league matches as a manager this season for Brighton and Chelsea.

My Aston Villa line-up

Predict Aston Villa’s starting XI for their next fixture – remember you can change the formation!

My Chelsea line-up

Predict Chelsea’s starting XI for their next fixture – remember you can change the formation!


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