By beating Aston Villa in their final game, Chelsea will secure their place in next season’s Champions League ahead of their appearance in this season’s final. Read more about Aston Villa vs. Chelsea here.
The Blues moved up to third place after beating Leicester in midweek, and they now control their destiny going into the final day of the domestic season.
- Ross Barkley is likely to have played his last game for Aston Villa, as he will not be able to face his parent club Chelsea on Sunday. His influence faded quickly after a promising start on loan, and Villa is unlikely to pursue him permanently.
- Douglas Luiz and Jacob Ramsey will be hoping to return to the starting lineup, but Dean Smith is likely to stay in place. Since their contracts are up this summer, Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor can at the very least get cameos.
- Despite coming off early in their 2-1 victory over Leicester on Tuesday, Thomas Tuchel is adamant that N’Golo Kante has avoided a serious injury, but it would be surprising if he was risked here with the Champions League final just around the corner.
- Chelsea’s head coach would prefer to field a weaker team in this match, but the Blues still need a win to secure a top-four finish. Apart from Kante’s absence, we should see Chelsea’s strongest available lineup.
- Tuchel is optimistic that Kai Havertz will be available on Sunday, and believes that he has a better chance of playing than N’Golo Kante, who is crucial to their chances of beating Manchester City in the Champions League final.
Aston VIlla vs. Chelsea | Prediction
- With a 2-1 victory away to Tottenham in midweek, Aston Villa ended a three-game losing streak. No matter what happens on the final day of the season, Dean Smith’s team will finish 11th. That status is rather deceiving, as they may have been in contention for Europe if Jack Grealish had not missed 12 games due to injury.
- Chelsea only needs to equal Leicester’s result to finish in the top four on the final day, while a victory for Thomas Tuchel’s side will secure the third position. Tuchel does not want to field a strong XI on Sunday because they have the Champions League final a week away.
- Chelsea has won their last three trips to Villa Park but can expect a tough game here.
With his 14th goal of the season, Ollie Watkins gave Villa the win against Spurs on Wednesday, putting him in seventh place in the Premier League goal list.
Chelsea’s top scorer in the league this season is penalty taker Jorginho, who has just seven goals, but clean sheets have become the backbone of their progress under Tuchel.
Possible starting lineup:
Aston Villa: Martinez, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Hause, McGinn, Grealish, Traore, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Watkins.
Chelsea: Mendy, Rudiger, Silva, Chilwell, James, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kante, Pulisic, Mount, Werner.
Our Prediction: Aston Villa 1 – 2 Chelsea
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