Chelsea FC XI vs Aston Villa: Confirmed lineup, team news as Mateo Kovacic starts; N’Golo Kante not in squad

·1-min read
 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

Mateo Kovacic makes first Chelsea start since April 10 against Aston Villa.

The midfielder returned from his hamstring injury as a substitute against Leicester on Tuesday but he is fit enough for a place in the starting line-up at Villa Park.

There is no N’Golo Kante in the Chelsea squad, while Kai Havertz and Andreas Christensen are only on the bench.

Chelsea know victory will ensure a third-placed finish, which manager Thomas Tuchel admits will ease pressure on their Champions League final with Manchester City.

“We don’t have to talk around it,” said Tuchel. “Of course, it takes some pressure off. I don’t think that when we arrive in the final that it would be in our heads.

“When you prepare a final in the last two days, you will not play this final to make it to the Champions League next season. We will play this final 100 percent no matter what to win the cup, this is it.


“The side effect, of course, is a crucial one but we don’t want to play this final to arrive in the top four. We put so much hard work, quality and we have been very consistent in terms of results in the last months that we want to finish the job.

Chelsea XI: Mendy, James, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Silva, Chilwell, Kovacic, Jorginho, Mount, Pulisic, Werner.

Subs: Kepa, Alonso, Christensen, Zouma, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Gilmour, Havertz.

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