Chelsea v Aston Villa: six key battles

Chelsea will be looking to kick-start their season when they take on Aston Villa. Here are six potential battles we think might be all-important at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

John Terry v Rudy Gestede
Like Southampton’s Graziano Pellè last time out, Gestede will put Chelsea’s defence under pressure in the air. Terry struggled against the Saints but has tended to play very well against Villa.

Willian or Pedro v Jordan Amavi
Amavi has been easily the pick of Villa’s summer signings. The former Nice man can switch comfortably between defence and attack and on current form will fancy his chances of making an impact against the Blues.

Diego Costa v Micah Richards
Costa is available again after his domestic ban, while Richards has been an ever-present at heart of the Villa defence this season. This one could be lively clash.

Costa is back in the Chelsea squad after his suspension
Costa is back in the Chelsea squad after his suspension

Cesar Azpilicueta or Baba Rahman v Carles Gil
Gil set up Villa’s goal in their last game against Chelsea. The tricky Spaniard’s end product is inconsistent but he’s capable of producing moments of magic and is a threat.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek v Idrissa Gueye
Gueye was signed in the summer to replace Fabian Delph and has a great engine. Loftus-Cheek, meanwhile, looks like being given a chance to shine.

Jose Mourinho v Tim Sherwood
Sherwood’s position is reportedly under threat, while another home defeat would undoubtedly lead to more speculation over Mourinho’s future. Both men are under pressure.