Predicted Chelsea XI vs Villa: Badiashile returns to start in 3-4-1-2

Chelsea was unable to score against Aston Villa in the reverse fixture, and though they were outplayed, they did enough to keep a clean sheet. The issue is that the west London outfit has conceded four goals in each of the games they played between the last time they faced Villa and now. 

Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Chelsea will need to defend as well as they did in the reverse fixture of this tie while figuring out ways to break down Unai Emery's Villa. Villa scored five goals in the first half of their last league game (against Sheffield United). Ollie Watkins looked quite dangerous, so Mauricio Pochettino will have to plan for the Englishman. Chelsea correspondent, Nizaar Kinsella mentioned that Pochettino is working on switching to a back three, this is the clearest sign that Pochettino is in fact, under pressure. Here is our predicted lineup

Dorde Petrovic (No. 28) Goalkeeper, Serbia

Petrovic did not have a good game against Wolves, but no one did. This is a rare bad game though. His shot-stopping would need to be top-notch for Chelsea to get their desired result from the game. 

Axel Disasi (No. 2) Right centerback, France

Disasi has been one of the most consistent defenders at the club this season, which is a credit to him because it's his first season in the Premier League. He adapted brilliantly and should be spoken about in a more positive light throughout the fanbase. 

Thiago Silva (No. 6) Centerback, Brazil

Silva's wife is talking again, and this time it seems the higher-ups at the club prefer she doesn't. She is saying what everyone is thinking though, probably including the higher-ups. Pochettino is on thin ice.

Benoit Badiashile (No. 5) Left centerback, France

Pochettino mentioned needing a set-piece specialist, even name-dropping James Ward-Prowse. The issue is that competent set-piece tactics are formed around competent crossers and big players. Chelsea has both. No one "needs" to have a set-piece specialist to build set-piece solutions. Badiashile is 6'4" and was sitting on the bench against a big Wolves team. 

Malo Gusto (No. 27) Right wingback, France

Gusto was horrendous against Wolves. It has to be said. He lost 10/12 ground duels, completed 0/3 dribbles and completed 0/3 tackles. He has to shake it off and go again though.

Ben Chilwell (No. 3) Left wingback, England

Chilwell was much better against Wolves than he was against Liverpool. His skillset would be more suited to a wingback role, and he's another player who will benefit from a formation change.

Moises Caicedo (No. 25) Central midfielder, Ecuador

Caicedo was very good in possession against Wolves, though they didn't have a field day in the center of the park. The Ecuador international was poor defensively again, though. Worse than the Liverpool game. 

Enzo Fernandez (No. 8) Central midfielder, Argentina

Fernandez was very good last time out. He won 5/6 tackles and 8/11 ground duels. He was also superb in possession, creating one clear-cut chance and completing 92% of his passes despite attempting 10 long balls. 

Cole Palmer (No. 20) Central attacking midfielder, England

Palmer showed excellent off-the-ball movement against Wolves, getting into the perfect position to score Chelsea's first goal of the night to give them the lead. 

Nicolas Jackson (No. 15) Center forward, England

Sterling's movement out of possession would be key against Unai Emery's men. He has demonstrated that he can be a nuisance even to the most organized defenses. Chelsea comfortably plays better with him in the side.

Christopher Nkunku (No. 18) Center forward, France

Nkunku has shown his effectiveness in just 245 minutes of Premier League football. His numbers reflect an elite ability to get into goal-scoring positions, having already received four big chances in five games. His elite shooting is also shown by the fact that six out of his eight shots so far have been on target.