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Chelsea line up vs Aston Villa

Thomas Tuchel has made 10 changes to his team to face Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup third round, including a debut in defence.

Our head coach had hinted he could rotate his side for tonight’s cup game and stuck to his word, with only goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga remaining in the starting XI from our 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday. Edouard Mendy and Christian Pulisic are both still recovering from injuries so are not involved.

Ahead of Kepa, Reece James looks set to play on the right side of a back three, alongside Trevoh Chalobah and debutant Malang Sarr, who was an unused substitute against Zenit St Petersburg.

N'Golo Kante captains the team from midfield, having made a big impact from the bench at Spurs, with Saul next to him, while Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell get the nod as wing-backs, the latter making his first start of the season.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also in the line-up for the first time in 2021/22 and could appear in an advanced position with Hakim Ziyech, supporting Timo Werner.

Among the substitutes, 19-year-old defender Xavier Mbuyamba is involved for the senior team for the first time.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has made several changes himself, with only three players - Jed Steer, Matt Cash and Axel Tuanzebe - in his line-up who also started on their Premier League visit to Stamford Bridge 11 days ago. They also have Lamare Bogarde on their bench, nephew of former Chelsea defender Winston Bogarde.

Chelsea: Kepa; James, Chalobah, Sarr; Hudson-Odoi, Kante (c), Saul, Chilwell; Ziyech, Werner, Loftus-Cheek

Substitutes: Bettinelli, Mbuyamba, Thiago Silva, Barkley, Havertz, Mount, Lukaku

Aston Villa: Steer, Cash, Tuanzebe, Hause, Young (c), Sanson, Nakamba, Traore, Buendia, El Ghazi, Archer

Substitutes: Sinisalo, Konsa, Bogarde, Carney, A. Ramsey, Philogene-Bidace, Caleb

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