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Chelsea vs. Aston Villa: Lineups and open match thread

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Villa starts a functionally unchanged team from the one they fielded against Arsenal, while Chelsea will field a team that's very close to their strongest.

Clive Mason

Aston Villa's season is off to a great start and nothing that happens today short of a savage beating is likely to change that. If Paul Lambert is planning to go after things differently against the Blues he's doing a pretty good job of hiding it, fielding a team identical to the one Villa started with against Arsenal save Ciaran Clark stepping in for the injured Nathan Baker. Jose Mourinho has made a few changes to the side he fielded against Hull City Tigers-I'm going to write out their entire name until it stops being amusing to me, just as a fair warning-but if anything it's likely that this side is even stronger.

As it was last week, my main desire is to see Villa put in a solid performance and prevent the game from getting away from them. Expecting this side to be the first team to ever beat Jose Mourinho at home in the Premier League is a bit much, but Villa's not competing with Chelsea in a bigger-picture sense. Games like this are all about trying to make some noise.

Aston Villa Starting XI:

Brad Guzan; Matthew Lowton, Ron VlaarCiaran Clark, Antonio Luna; Karim El Ahmadi, Ashley Westwood, Fabian Delph; Andreas Weimann, Christian Benteke, Gabby Agbonlahor

Aston Villa Bench:

Jed Steer, Jores Okore, Joe Bennett, Yacouba Sylla, Leandro Bacuna, Aleksandar Tonev, Nicklas Helenius

Chelsea Starting XI:

Petr Cech; Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Ashley Cole; Ramires, Frank Lampard, Oscar, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard; Demba Ba

Chelsea Bench:

Mark Schwarzer, Cesar Azpilicueta, John Obi Mikel, Marco Van Ginkel, Kevin De Bruyne, Andre Schurrle, Romelu Lukaku