Fa Cup: Aston Villa vs. Chelsea match preview, prediction, team news, lineups
Fa Cup: Aston Villa vs. Chelsea – Chelsea, teetering on the brink of yet another on-field disaster, attempts to make up for Premier League mistakes in the FA Cup, where Aston Villa awaits Wednesday’s rematch of the fourth round.
After exchanging goals in a goalless draw in West London, the teams reassembled at Villa Park, with the midweek winner facing either Plymouth Argyle or Leeds United at home.
Before Aston Villa arrived for their knockout match on January 26, Chelsea had strengthened the walls of their besieged Stamford Bridge stronghold.
Despite the Blues’ abundant possession at their West London home, neither team was able to punch a direct ticket to round five.
With just one point from their encounters with Everton and Newcastle United, Unai Emery’s Aston Villa team had all but vanished from the Premier League title race heading into this weekend’s match against Sheffield United.
The dull draw in the capital was the second of three games in which the team had lost.
But the Lions improved their Champions League record with a commanding 5-0 victory in front of the disheartened Bramall Lane supporters, who saw Emery’s ruthless charges score four goals in the first thirty minutes before Alex Moreno’s exquisitely placed volley capped a stellar display.
Fourth-placed Villa still have a five-point deficit to close to the league leaders after Emery’s former team Arsenal defeated Liverpool a day later.
However, their manager, who has won multiple Europa League titles, will now need to indulge his habit of winning cups once more.
Aston Villa’s victory over Middlesbrough in their FA Cup debut match is their best result in the competition since 2015–16.
Prior to 2023–24, the Villas had seven consecutive third-round exits; however, since making it to the 2014–15 final, the Lions had not advanced past the fourth round.
Aston Villa lost 4-0 to Arsenal, the 14-time winners of the FA Cup, on that tragic day at Wembley.
Chelsea, on the other hand, comes to Villa Park having also given up four goals in the English capital, albeit just a few days ago instead of nine years ago.
Wolverhampton Wanderers hadn’t won the league double against the Blues since the 1974–1975 season, but Gary O’Neil’s clinical charges ended that 49-year run on Sunday.
Matheus Cunha’s incredible hat-trick and an own goal by Axel Disasi made Cole Palmer and Thiago Silva’s efforts meaningless.
Read More: Chelsea Mulls Over Mauricio Pochettino Sack
Mauricio Pochettino faced the music and acknowledged that his position in West London is far from secure after seeing his team lose their heartwarming winning home run in such disastrous circumstances.
The 11th-placed Blues, who have now conceded four goals in back-to-back Premier League games, are stuck in the uncomfortable familiarity of mid-table.
In addition, Chelsea has lost six of their past seven away from Stamford Bridge due to a rough road schedule.
However, although the Blues are not in the form book, history shows that they have won eight of the last nine FA Cup replays.
The Blues also won at Villa Park in the 2021–22 and 2022–23 Premier League seasons, but they have since lost three games against the Lions without scoring a goal, and they could lose four straight against Aston Villa without scoring a goal, which would be a serious black mark on Pochettino’s record.
Aston Villa FA Cup form:
Aston Villa form (all competitions):
W W D D L W
Chelsea FA Cup form:
Chelsea form (all competitions):
L W W D L L
Morgan Rogers, who came off the bench at Bramall Lane, was taken out of the Riverside Stadium by Villa after the Championship team had already eliminated Middlesbrough from the FA Cup in the third round. However, the winger is cup-tied for this match.
In addition, Emi Buendia (knee), Tyrone Mings (knee), and Jhon Duran (hamstring) won’t be back for months, and Pau Torres (ankle), Lucas Digne (thigh), and Nicolo Zaniolo (unspecified) are also anticipated to miss the rematch on Wednesday due to various fitness concerns.
After having his contract torn up, Bertrand Traore also left for Villarreal on a free transfer.
Following a convincing win at Bramall Lane, Emery shouldn’t feel the need to change the starting lineup unless fatigued players push him. Matty Cash and Moussa Diaby will benefit from that situation.
At this point, Chelsea’s medical centre is also overflowing with patients undergoing individual rehabilitation programs, including Lesley Ugochukwu (hamstring), Wesley Fofana (knee), Robert Sanchez (knee), Reece James (thigh), Marc Cucurella (ankle), and Romeo Lavia (quadriceps).
Trevoh Chalobah (thigh), who hasn’t played a single game this season, is back in team training but will be allowed time to regain his match fitness. Levi Colwill (tendon) is likewise thought to have very little chance of returning in the West Midlands.
Following a disastrous Premier League showing, Pochettino will undoubtedly take a close look at a number of alterations as Carney Chukwuemeka, Benoit Badiashile, Mykhaylo Mudryk, and Nicolas Jackson—returning from the Africa Cup of Nations—compete for the starting lineup.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Lenglet, Moreno; McGinn, Kamara, Luiz, Bailey; Diaby, Watkins
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Petrovic; Gusto, Disasi, Badiashile, Chilwell; Chukwuemeka, Fernandez; Palmer, Nkunku, Mudryk; Jackson
Our prediction for this match 2-0 or 2-1 won by Aston Villa