The versatile midfielder was described by Blues director Marina Granovskaia as a ‘proven winner’ following his deadline-day arrival from Atletico Madrid but his continued absence from the Spain squad — he won the last of his 19 caps almost two years ago — has given him a chance to work with Chelsea over the past week.
He has joined a side that showed their mettle in their last fixture, drawing 1-1 with Liverpool despite going down to 10-men just before half-time when Reece James was sent off. A superbly organised second-half display, with Thiago Silva and Mateo Kovacic coming on at the break, nullified the hosts.
Villa spent part of the £100million they got for Jack Grealish on Emiliano Buendia and the lively winger scored his first goal for his new club in their last game before the break. However, his controversial trip to Brazil with Argentina means he won’t be at the Bridge on Saturday.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Chelsea vs Aston Villa is scheduled for a 5.30pm BST kick-off on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
The match will take place at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea vs Aston Villa tickets
Where to watch Chelsea vs Aston Villa
TV channel: The match will be televised on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event.
Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers will be able to watch the match online via the website or Sky Go.
Chelsea vs Aston Villa team news
Romelu Lukaku was sent home early from international duty by Belgium with a thigh injury which the striker described as “minor”.
James is suspended for his red card at Anfield while N G’olo Kante has been having treatment after aggravating an ankle injury in that game and will miss out, though could be back for next week’s Champions League opener.
Christian Pulisic, however, has been seen on crutches with what Tuchel described as a “ten day” ankle injury.
For Villa, Buendia and Argentina team-mate Emiliano Martinez are both missing as they quarantine.
While the pair are out of the trip to Stamford Bridge, Ollie Watkins (knee), Leon Bailey (hamstring), John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey (Covid isolation) are available.
Bertrand Traore is back in training after a hamstring injury but Trezeguet (knee) remains a long-term absentee.
Chelsea vs Aston Villa prediction
Three days after this game, the Blues kick off the defence of their Champions League crown when they host Zenit St Petersburg.
But, as they showed at Anfield, it takes a lot for Thomas Tuchel’s side to lose their focus.
Chelsea 3 Aston Villa 0
Head to head (h2h) history and results
Chelsea wins: 26
Aston Villa wins: 13
Betting odds and tips
Chelsea to win: 1/4
Aston Villa to win: 10/1
Odds via Betfair Exchange (subject to change). Click here to find out more.