Chelsea duo Gary Cahill and Ramires will be available for selection against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge tomorrow after serving a one-match suspension against Leeds in the Capital One Cup game midweek, but Jon Obi Mikel still has to serve the final game of his three-match ban whilst John Terry is sidelined with injury and Ryan Bertrand is doubtful.
As for the opposition, Ron Vlaar and Gabriel Agbonlahor are major doubts as they have both been out with calf problems. Stephen Ireland has recovered from illness and will be available for selection, and I hope he won’t have as good a time as he did at Stamford Bridge last season when he scored and assisted to help his side win 3-1.
The team I’d pick tomorrow:
C. Azpilicueta – B. Ivanovic – D. Luiz – A. Cole
F. Lampard – Ramires
Oscar – J. Mata – E. Hazard
It is a worrying statistic that Chelsea have used only 20 players this season, the fewest in the top flight, as it represents the fact that there’s not a whole lot of variety in the squad at the moment and it’s proving incredibly difficult to rest our players and give them the opportunity to recharge their batteries. Hopefully we will see a few new faces in the January transfer window as we foolishly went into a season with just the one recognised centre forward and sold Raul Meireles at a time in which we couldn’t possibly replace him.
But until then we will have to work with what we’ve got and we have some great players, it’s just the fatigue factor that is concerning me and it could be one of the reasons why we burnt out following a bright start.