If Chelsea beat Aston Villa in their final game, Aston Villa vs Chelsea, they will finish in the top four.
Chelsea don’t need to win to secure their place in next season’s Champions League.
The Blues moved up to third place after beating Leicester in midweek. So, they now control their own destiny going into the final day of the domestic season.
But it’s just as well that they win in their appearance in this season’s final match on Sunday.
- Ross Barkley may have played his last game for Aston Villa, as he may not face his parent club Chelsea. Villa are unlikely to pursue him permanently because his influence faded quickly after a promising start on loan.
- Douglas Luiz and Jacob Ramsey will be hoping to return to the starting lineup. But Dean Smith is likelier to start again.
- Since their contracts are up this summer, Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor can at the very least get cameos.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup: Martinez, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Hause, McGinn, Grealish, Traore, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Watkins.
- Coming off early in their 2-1 victory over Leicester on Tuesday, Thomas Tuchel may field a weaker team here.
- Chelsea’s head coach is adamant that N’Golo Kante is fine. Though he may have avoided a serious injury, it would be surprising if he plays before the Champions League final.
- However, the Blues still need a win to secure a top-four finish. So, apart from Kante’s absence, we should see Chelsea’s strongest available lineup.
- As such, Tuchel is optimistic that Kai Havertz will be available on Sunday. So, the German has a better chance of playing than Kante, who is crucial against Manchester City in the final.
Chelsea possible starting lineup: Mendy, Rudiger, Silva, Chilwell, James, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kante, Pulisic, Mount, Werner.
- With a 2-1 victory away to Tottenham in midweek, Aston Villa ended a three-game losing streak.
- But no matter what happens on the final day of the season, Dean Smith’s team will finish 11th. That status is rather deceiving, as they may have been in contention for Europe. But Jack Grealish missed 12 games due to injury and they’re finishing low.
- Meanwhile, Chelsea only need to equal Leicester’s result to finish in the top four on the final day. A victory for Thomas Tuchel’s side will ensure they remain in third position. So, with either result being positive, Tuchel does not want risk anything the Champions League final a week away.
Chelsea have won their last three trips to Villa Park but can expect a tough game here.
Ollie Watkins gave Villa the win against Spurs on Wednesday. With his 14th goal of the season, Watkins is in seventh place in the Premier League goal list.
On the other hand, Chelsea’s top scorer in the league this season is penalty taker Jorginho. However, he has just seven goals.
But clean sheets have become the backbone of their progress under Tuchel and this may carry them to a win.