It certainly hasn’t been an easy couple of weeks for Chelsea and manager Thomas Tuchel. Some poor performances, combined with a virus outbreak, mean their Premier League title hopes are hanging by a thread.
They will play an Aston Villa side on Boxing Day who have been revitalised since the appointment of Steven Gerrard, so this away game won’t be straightforward.
In terms of the team, Edouard Mendy is expected to return in goal, after being rested for the Carabao Cup quarter-final tie versus Brentford midweek.
Andreas Christensen has recovered from a back injury, so he could start ahead of captain Cesar Azpilicueta, with Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger coming back into the three-man defence. Reece James will also be recalled at right wingback, with Alonso retaining his position on the other flank.
In midfield, both Jorginho and N’Golo Kante were only substitutes on Wednesday, so it’s likely that Mateo Kovacic and Saul Niguez could make way for the pair in midfield.
In the frontline, Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi returned to training yesterday after getting the go-ahead following spells out with the virus. Both may start against Villa, along with Mason Mount.
Chelsea’s Predicted XI To Play Aston Villa:
Mendy, James, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Lukaku, Hudson-Odoi