Chelsea have the chance of securing their position in the Premier League’s top four and qualify for next season’s Champions League if they can claim all three points against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Villa Park has been something of a bogey ground for Chelsea in the past but we have managed to win in two of our last four visits there and it’s vital we win there to secure our own future ahead of Wednesday’s Europa League final against Benfica in Amsterdam.
Eden Hazard had just come back from a calf problem when he limped off injured during the 2-2 draw against Tottenham in the week so I don’t think that he will be risked but will be on the bench if he’s fit enough. Ryan Bertrand has been suffering with a knee problem so may not be available whilst Rafael Benitez has said Frank Lampard will play.
The team I’d pick:
C. Azpilicueta – G. Cahill – D. Luiz – A. Cole
Ramires – F. Lampard
Oscar – J. Mata – E. Hazard
I’m hopeful Hazard is fit enough to play and if he is then he has to play as he’s one of our most potent weapons and qualifying for the Champions League is more important that winning the Europa League. But if Benitez doesn’t risk him then I hope Victor Moses has a better game then he did when he came on against Spurs and not give the ball away continuously.
Lampard will be back in the midfield and I wouldn’t take the risk of pairing him with David Luiz as they can both be guilty of moving too far forward.
Demba Ba is sure to start as Benitez has no choice but to pick Fernando Torres for Wednesday’s match.
Fingers crossed for the victory we need, but who would be in your Chelsea XI for the match against Aston Villa?