Chelsea expected XI vs Aston Villa as Lampard ponders changes from Arsenal loss

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard could make some big changes to the starting XI against Aston Villa after their disastrous performance against Arsenal.

The Blues are seven points off the top of the Premier League following their 3-1 defeat to their London rivals.

Going into the game from a 3-0 win over West Ham, it saw the manager use the same formation and team with a 4-3-3.

The only change for the defeat at the Emirates Stadium was the re-introduction of Reece James to the back line.

But Lampard may be looking at a few more changes for the return to Stamford Bridge against Villa, who have been unbeaten in their last four games.

James was the man who brought down Kieran Tierney to give away the penalty for the first goal in north London, with Alexandre Lacazette slotting into the bottom-right.

And this could be punished by Cesar Azpilicueta taking his place in the right-back position.

It was the full back line that was at fault for the third goal as they backed off Bukayo Saka, looping the third goal over a helpless Edouard Mendy.

While the shot-stopper would keep his place amid Kepa Arrizabalaga’s frustrations, Thiago Silva could make way for Antonio Rudiger – only his second appearance of the season – as Kurt Zouma and Ben Chilwell are the remaining survivors.

Lampard saw his midfielders suffer problems, with N’Golo Kante committing the foul for Granit Xhaka’s fierce free kick before Jorginho missed a penalty.

And the Blues boss may use the next game to give his two struggling players an opportunity to step away from the limelight.

Mateo Kovacic would move into the centre of midfield with Mason Mount staying in place, joined for a trio by Kai Havertz.

The German midfielder’s last start came in the 2-1 loss to Wolves earlier this month, facing criticism for his performances – but this game could offer him a chance of redemption.

While Tammy Abraham grabbed Chelsea’s only goal against Arsenal, his return of six goals in the Premier League this season may not be enough.

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  • And it could pave the way for Olivier Giroud to get a start, giving him the opportunity to get a much-desired start in the league.

    Christian Pulisic would be the only survivor as Timo Werner, who has only scored eight goals this season, is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi.

    Lampard’s selection against Villa would see him replace two stars that struggled against Arsenal, who Daily Star picked out here.

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