Chelsea FC will be aiming to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they entertain Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge this evening.
The Blues have been disappointing in recent weeks and they have suffered defeats in three of the previous four league games.
That has seen them drop to eighth in the standings and they are presently seven points adrift of the top of the table.
They are scheduled to host the Villans today and the game won’t be straightforward with Dean Smith’s side in fine form.
The west Midlands outfit are presently above the Blues on the table on goal difference and with two games in hand.
Edouard Mendy can’t be put at fault for any of the goals conceded in the 3-1 loss to the Gunners and he is expected to start between the sticks.
In the defence, Reece James may have been rushed into action after his injury lay-off and he was not at his best against the Gunners.
Cesar Azpilicueta could replace him at right-back. Elsewhere, Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva should continue in the central defensive roles.
Ben Chilwell should keep his place on the left side of the backline.
In the midfield, N’Golo Kante didn’t have the best of games last weekend, but he is still the club’s best holding midfielder.
He is likely to keep his position. Mason Mount should likewise start, but we are anticipating Kai Havertz to come in for Mateo Kovacic.
Timo Werner has looked void of confidence in recent weeks and he produced another poor showing at the Emirates.
He was rightly substituted midway through the game for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who made a mark with an assist.
Hudson-Odoi should start ahead of him from the right wing such that Christian Pulisic takes up his preferred left wing role.
Upfront, it should be a swap between Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud. Abraham scored a late consolation, but was largely ineffective prior to that.
Giroud was surprisingly not called up against his former club. He should be handed a start against high-flying Aston Villa.
Predicted Chelsea FC lineup (4-3-3): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Kante, Mount, Havertz; Hudson-Odoi, Giroud, Pulisic
Stats from Transfermarkt