In a scintillating display of prowess, Chelsea resoundingly secured their spot in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on February 25, 2024, triumphing 6-2 on aggregate against Middlesbrough in the semi-finals. Following this impressive feat at Stamford Bridge, the Blues now turn their attention to the FA Cup, where they are set to face Aston Villa in the fourth round on January 26.
Mauricio Pochettino, at the helm, is expected to deploy a lineup reminiscent of their recent successes, maintaining a steadfast 4-2-3-1 formation as they strive to extend their unbeaten run to 10 consecutive matches at Stamford Bridge.
Goalkeeper: Djordje Petrovic
In the absence of the seasoned Robert Sanchez, the Serbian shot-stopper, Djordje Petrovic, has seamlessly assumed the mantle of Chelsea's new No.1. Flawless in his performances thus far, Petrovic exudes confidence with the ball at his feet, showcasing adept distribution skills alongside his prowess as a formidable shot-stopper.
Right back: Axel Disasi
Not a natural right back, Axel Disasi has admirably filled the void during the Blues' injury crisis in the position. The Frenchman's standout performance against Boro, marked by a pivotal role in CFC's second goal and a well-taken third goal, underscores his versatility and ability to make crucial defensive contributions.
Centre back: Thiago Silva
Serving as the linchpin in Chelsea's youthful defensive lineup, Thiago Silva continues to marshal the backline with consummate leadership. The Brazilian stalwart consistently delivers solid defensive displays, showcasing his enduring quality as a defensive maestro.
Center back: Levi Colwill
Transitioning to his natural left center-back position, Levi Colwill has found his comfort zone, evident in his stellar defensive showing against Middlesbrough. The young defender's proficiency in his preferred role bolsters the Blues' defensive resilience.
Left back: Ben Chilwell
With only one natural fullback available, the return of Ben Chilwell from injury provides a significant boost to Chelsea's defensive structure and attacking impetus. The English international's presence adds a new dimension to the team's tactical approach.
Central Midfielder: Moises Caicedo
Ecuadorian midfielder Moises Caicedo is evolving into a pivotal figure in Chelsea's midfield, assuming the role of an enforcer with finesse. His ability to disrupt opposition play and initiate attacks highlights his growing influence on the team.
Central Midfielder: Enzo Fernandez
The burgeoning partnership between Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez proves to be the midfield axis for the Blues. Fernandez not only possesses an impressive passing range but has also displayed a goal-scoring prowess, finding the net four times already this season.
Attacking Midfielder: Conor Gallagher
Conor Gallagher, the energetic engine in the midfield, remains a constant presence in Pochettino's lineup. His tireless efforts in pressing from the front make him an indispensable component of the team.
Right Wing: Cole Palmer
Emerging as a standout performer, Cole Palmer consistently earns his place as the first name on the team sheet. The young Englishman's goal-scoring exploits and creative contributions have surpassed the previous season's top scorer, Kai Havertz.
Left Wing: Raheem Sterling
A seasoned presence in the dressing room, Raheem Sterling garners Pochettino's trust and frequent selection. While displaying occasional inconsistency this season, Sterling's ability to deliver match-winning moments remains a key asset for Chelsea.
Striker: Armando Broja
In the absence of Nicolas Jackson, Armando Broja assumes the striker role for Chelsea. Despite facing challenges in recent games, his physical presence may prove pivotal against Aston Villa's robust defense.
As Chelsea prepares to face Aston Villa, it's worth noting that the Villans have clinched victories in their last two encounters with the Blues, both away from home. Pochettino and his resolute side aim to buck this trend and maintain their unblemished record at the Bridge on Friday.