European champions Chelsea are back in Premier League action following the international break, looking to build on an impressive start to the campaign at home to Aston Villa. Dean Smith’s side have been about par from their games so far this season with a 1-1-1 record in the top flight but a trip to west London is by far the toughest test they will have faced so far.
Here is how you can watch the match and all you need to know:
- Date: Saturday, Sep. 11 | Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Stamford Bridge — London
- TV: NBC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
- Odds: Chelsea -350; Draw +450; Villa +1100 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Chelsea: The Blues have a few minor injury issues to concern themselves with after an international break where much of their squad departed Stamford Bridge for World Cup qualifiers across the globe. Both N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku left their European camps early with what are believed to be minor issues whilst Christian Pulisic will have undergone a scan on the ankle injury he suffered in the USA’s win over Honduras.
In many ways those absences just point to the sheer depth of talent in Thomas Tuchel’s side. Even losing Kante for a short time may not feel like the brutal blow it could be with Saul Niguez having arrived on loan from Atletico Madrid, giving the manager the fourth option in midfield that he wanted in the form of a Spanish international and La Liga champion. It could be worse.
Aston Villa: Though it was preplanned that Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia would miss this game so they could join up with the Argentina squad the events that took place in their match with Brazil — where local health officials arrived on the pitch in pursuit of the Villa goalkeeper and two Tottenham teammates — will cast a shadow over the return to action.
In Martinez’s place Jed Steer will make just his third Premier League appearance while Buendia’s absence is complicated by an injury to Leon Bailey that rules him out. The likes of Anwar El Ghazi and Bertrand Traore will need to deliver in their absence.
Even at full strength Villa would have their work cut out but this should prove to be a regulation win for Chelsea. PICK: Chelsea 2 Aston Villa 0