So for this post, I want to put all the Tim Sherwood debate to one side and focus on the team to go out and get a result on Saturday, because whatever the future for the manager of Aston Villa, the available players will be the same until January. We have a team fully fit except Clark so it seems like a good time to consider who will see lining up for Villa.
The Game Changers in midfield?
Should we go for it and put our most creative players in against Chelsea or play a safer team? That decision seems to dictate the personnel, particularly in the middle of the park.
After the strange omission of Gil and Grealish against Stoke and the displeasure voiced by the fans, you have to think they will start. Gil can run the show, though I have my doubts he will be afforded the time and space to do so against Chelsea. If Sanchez can be at his destructive industrious best and Gana can provide stability and move the ball around neatly, those four could work. I’d give a shout to Veretout though, who is starting to look a player. If we don’t give them a chance to get a run of games, I'm not sure they will ever develop.
And what of Traore? This would be a big twist having not played for a while and this being Chelsea away from home. I say why not, Chelsea lack pace at the back and won’t know a great deal about him. Give him a chance.
The safe options?
Will we see Westwood and Gabby in the line up? Possibly. We know they are favourites of the manager. I’d prefer not to see them start, but on the bench they provide an option.
I thought Ayew would start against Stoke after his cameo against the clowns. That memory is fading now though and I can’t seem him starting. Gestede will need to bully and bruise the defence and show he can hold the ball up and play his feet occasionally.
What about Sinclair? A tough one for me. His form is indifferent but I remain a big fan. Will he be pushed out wide against Chelsea or rested and unleashed against the Swans. I’d go with the latter.
A case for the defence
I think without Clark available, the back 4 more or less picks itself. Hutton, Richards Lescott and Amavi for me. Bacuna does have a better cross but against Chelsea, I’d opt for the better positioning and the I’m going to f**k you up attitude physicality of Hutton.
I’ve been reading the rumours and whilst I don’t know what the answer is to Villa’s poor form and lack of goals but I am sure the answer is not Charles N’Zogbia. Who would you pick?