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Having been forced to play three games in less than a week with ongoing coronavirus issues, there can be some sympathy with the selection problems which have hindered Thomas Tuchel.
Nevertheless, the Blues have come through a period against Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brentford without suffering defeat, two draws in the Premier League being followed by a 2-0 triumph in the EFL Cup quarter-finals.
Now sitting well adrift of Man City, Tuchel cannot be satisfied with his team’s recent form, but a change in government coronavirus rules should lead to more players returning this weekend.
The biggest plus from the last two games has been consecutive clean sheets, those shutouts being achieved after previously conceding 11 times in six contests.
Tuchel will hope that more goals from open play now follow, but Chelsea suffered a 2-1 defeat in this corresponding fixture last season as they just about held onto fourth spot in the Premier League on the final day.
Despite the prospect of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku returning to the squad after coronavirus, neither player are expected to be risked from the start.
With Chelsea now having more of their midfielders available, Mateo Kovacic could partner Jorginho in the centre, with N’Golo Kante playing in a more advanced role alongside Mason Mount.
While Trevoh Chalobah should feature in the back three, Hakim Ziyech is a doubt with a calf injury, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kai Havertz are likely to miss out due to coronavirus.
Gerrard has not disclosed which Villa players face missing this game for the same reasons, leaving it difficult to predict a starting lineup with any degree of certainty.
The only confirmed absentees are Marvelous Nakamba, Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore, all through injury.
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Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey; Buendia, Watkins, Young
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudgier; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Kante, Mount; Pulisic