It’s the final Premier League game of the season as Tuchel’s Blues take on the Villains at Villa Park in an intriguing contest. The Blues have it all to play for as they look to confirm their qualification into next season’s Champions League ahead of the huge finale on the 29th May. Standing in their way however are the Claret and Blue who will be buoyed by their returning fans which will give them that extra bit of motivation to deliver a strong performance. Adding to this backdrop is that Blues legend John Terry will be working to help plot the demise of his boyhood club. With that in mind, some of the writers at The Chelsea Social give their thoughts and reflections regarding the Aston Villa vs Chelsea game.
Aston Villa vs Chelsea: Introduction
It’s Aston vs Chelsea in the final League game of the season. What a clash it will be given the magnitude of the affair, at least from Chelsea’s perspective.
The equation is fairly simple for the Blues, should they win, they confirm their place in next season’s Champions League. If they don’t, then the prospect of competing in the Europa League next season becomes all the more likely unless the results between our other top four challengers (Liverpool and Leicester) go our way. On face value, it seems that Liverpool is the safest of the three chasing teams which is rather extraordinary given their precarious position not so long ago. On the other side, it would appear that the Foxes, who had been in third position for quite some time, are in the most vulnerable position as they need to both win their match against a topsy-turvy Tottenham, and, need results to go in their favour. However, what’s probable on paper and what actually transpires can sometimes be polar opposites, particularly in the Premier League, and especially during this unprecedented season. One expects to be some final twists and turns before this Premier League season comes to a close.
In terms of this fixture, the Villains will look to play the part of their name as they will seek to deliver a performance that would make their returning fans proud. Further, the prospect of beating this season’s Champions League finalists’ on home soil will add extra motivation for Smith’s men and give them a positive injection heading into the off-season. As an intriguing side plot to all of this is arguably Chelsea’s greatest ever player, and current Aston Villa second in charge, John Terry. On one hand, the Blues legend openly continues to speak of his affinity for his boyhood club and even admitted that he eventually wants to manage Chelsea one day, despite the current focus and hard work he’s putting in at Villa. Therefore, observing Terry’s demeanour during this contest will be fascinating given the inner conflict he possesses.
From an actual playing perspective, Villa will be playing with relative ease and confidence following their good win over Spurs in which the highly-talented Jack Grealish made his return for the Claret and Blue. A question some fans and pundits will be asking as an aside is whether this might be Grealish’s last game for the Villa? If so, this could also add an extra bit of spice to the game as Jack would want to leave it all out there on the pitch and possibly would want to show potential suitors just how good he can be, and especially might want to get one over his England team mate and Chelsea Player of the Season Mason Mount. A tantalising personal battle that will be for all fans watching!
Thomas Tuchel mentioned in his press conference that Christensen will be in contention whereas Havertz and Kanté will be racing against the clock to see if they can be considered, otherwise they might need to wait for the Champions League Final. Other than that, the Blues have a relatively healthy squad to pick from and will look to want to secure a win here so as to not have the added pressure of using the 29th May to not only win Europe’s premier competition, but to use this as their entry pass into next season’s competition.
With so much on the line, particularly for Tuchel and his Blues, this will be a match that will have fans hanging on the edge of their seats. Chelsea fans will be hoping for much of the same spirit and desire that they saw during their 2-1 win against Leicester.
So without further ado, let’s dive into how the writers at The Chelsea Social feel the Aston Villa vs Chelsea contest will unfold.
It’s Aston Villa vs Chelsea in our final Premier League game this season. And once again, we leave it to the final day to determine whether or not we finish in the top four. I suppose the key difference from this season compared to last season is that if it doesn’t go our way in this clash, we technically do have an insurance policy with the Champions League (CL) Final being our last resort to ensure qualification into next season’s competition. Not sure what others think, but I hope we qualify before this match so as to not add further pressure on ourselves.
It will be interesting to see how we approach this contest from a personnel perspective given the big finale on the 29th. As I noted in my preview, I can appreciate the difficulty for Tuchel in juggling our squad ahead of these two remaining fixtures. On one hand some might say just play your best against Villa and ensure we give ourselves the best chance to get the job done. On the other hand, some might ask whether it’s worth risking certain players ahead of the CL Final, especially if the results around us happen to go in our favour. Adding to this is whether Tuchel will feel he can rely on some of his non-regulars in such a high-stakes clash given this was (apparently) the number one goal of his when he was brought in back in late January.
With Kanté and Havertz battling the clock to see if they are able to take part, I am particularly fascinated to see how we line up in both the middle of the park and up top. As it stands, I daresay ‘Jovacic’ will start, and ahead of them will be Mount, Pulisic and Werner. From a backline standpoint I believe it will be more straightforward as I feel we will go with Mendy, Rudiger, Silva, Azpilicueta, James and Chilwell.
All in all, a season-defining clash awaits us. Win here, we finish third and give ourselves confidence heading into the club’s biggest game in almost a decade. If we lose or draw, we potentially miss out on the top four and enter the CL Final under immense pressure.
While Villa will want to end their season on a high in front of their returning fans, I believe the motivation for our boys should propel us to a hard-fought and narrow victory. Here’s hoping!
Final Score: Aston Villa 1 – 2 Chelsea
It’s Aston Villa vs Chelsea in the final day of the Premier League season as Thomas Tuchel’s Blues travel to Villa Park to take on Villa where victory for Chelsea will confirm their place in the top four. Chelsea picked up a vital three points in midweek at home to Leicester, winning 2-1 at the Bridge in front of the Blues supporters. The Blues leapfrogged the Foxes into 3rd place to move onto 67 points, a point ahead of both them and Liverpool who now sit in 4th above Leicester on goal difference following their win over Burnley on Wednesday. There are numerous possible ways for us to finish in the Champions League places but to avoid relying on results around us, it’s vital that the Blues can finish the job themselves.
We head to Villa Park having won five of our last seven in the league, which is very good form though the defeat to Arsenal not so long a go dealt a slight blow to our top four hopes, but the Leicester win has put us back on track. Liverpool are at home to Crystal Palace while the Foxes welcome Spurs where both sides look like the favourites to win their respective games so you could say the Blues have the more difficult due to being away from home where only Villa fans will be in attendance. The reverse fixture at the Bridge back in December ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw, something we’ll be hoping to avoid this time round and go one better by picking up three points. Villa have certainly missed captain Jack Grealish having seen a dip in form in his absence, although he recently made his return as Dean Smith’s side are set to end the season in 11th place, an improvement on last term.
There is no doubt this contest will be a nervy one for both players and supporters with a lot on the line in the top four race, and therefore it will interesting to see how the Blues line up with the Champions League Final in mind next week. Aston Villa have proven at times to be a difficult opponent to break down, including with the likes of Ollie Watkins in attack. However, I believe that we have enough to come get the win here and confirm a 3rd place finish.
Final Score: Aston Villa 1 – 2 Chelsea
One last Premier League game means one last game of the “just win” variety. That is before considering the Champions League Final next Saturday.
The remit against Villa is clear: win the game and Chelsea secure Champions League football. Win the game and Chelsea come third, their joint highest position since 2017. A win will also build important momentum for THAT game next weekend.
As luck would have it, Aston Villa’s (arguably) most important player, Jack Grealish, is fit and raring to go for this encounter. So dangerous is Grealish that he is the most fouled player in the league, despite not playing for the better part of three months, and has created a host of chances for his teammates, up there with the likes of De Bruyne, Fernandes and Mason Mount. Ever the victims of players on goal droughts, players who need to prove a point or players returning from injury, Chelsea will hope to keep Grealish and his teammates quiet.
From a Chelsea perspective, head coach Thomas Tuchel will likely feel that little motivation is necessary for such a crucial game. What may be necessary is to instill in the players a need to remain focused, not panic if they go behind early and to remain committed to the game plan.
Chelsea rarely do well when the odds are stacked in their favour. Playing against an eleventh-placed Villa side with nothing to compete for and no concerns over relegation, the Blues are clear favourites. But rather than cower in the face of such expectation, it is time for this crop of Blues to accept the expectation and produce the quality that is demanded of them.
They have the capacity to get the result and beat a very good side. They do have to earn it however. But it is time to show the mettle inherent to a champion team and get the desired result.
From a personnel standpoint, it will be interesting to see who makes Tuchel’s XI. With N’Golo Kanté nursing a hamstring complaint, Kovacic not quite 100% match fit and Billy Gilmour a tad inexperienced for such a crucial game, the midfield pivot is arguably the area of most intrigue. Recently, players like Antonio Rudiger, Reece James, Mason Mount, Jorginho, Édouard Mendy and Timo Werner have dug in and delivered the desire, work rate and commitment required in key moments.
But Chelsea will need them, and the other players, to add goals, secure the win for Champions League football and allow positivity and concentration to flow in the week leading up to the Champions League Final.
All the tools exist to get Chelsea the win they need for another year of top level European football. Their fate is in their own hands.
Now is the time to take control with both hands.
Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!
Final Score: Aston Villa 0 – 2 Chelsea
Aston Villa vs Chelsea is the most important Premier League game as the Blues’ season is going to come down to the last wire. With much of my worries, I still predict us getting the job done.
It will be far from easy as it will be against an opposition that obliterated a Liverpool side early in the season. This team is super dangerous on the counter and will be looking to make life difficult in midfield for us. Hopefully we can be aggressive early on and take our chances whenever possible. While easier said than done, it must be done.
We can’t focus our attention on other teams because it’ll throw us off. Chelsea needs to be 100% in or else they have a high chance of slipping up the top four race. I predict a narrow final score along with some feisty battles in the middle of the park. Up the Chels!
Final Score: Aston Villa 1 – 2 Chelsea
Written by Matt, Dan, Rey and RJ
Edited by RJ Bonaccorsi (@RJ_Goodthings)
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