One hundred and five days since he last handed in a team sheet, Frank Lampard makes four changes to his side.

There is one alteration to the defence that kept a clean sheet against Everton all that time ago. Andreas Christensen comes in for Kurt Zouma.

Mateo Kovacic starts, as do two fit-again players - N'Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The latter is playing his first game this season. Jorginho remains suspended.

The attack is led by Olivier Giroud and with Willian and Mason Mount also selected, Pedro makes way.

Tammy Abraham is among nine permitted players on the bench on his return to Villa Park where he was so prolific on loan last season.

Explaining his striker selection before the game, Lampard said: ‘Oli finished really well before the break. He had a couple of small injuries at the start of this training period but it was just a choice today. It’s very important to let the players know that this is more than ever a squad game over this next period.

‘Certainly nobody should get their head down at not starting - we’re going to have to make subs and we’re going to need impact off the bench.’

Aston Villa are unchanged from their draw here against Sheffield United on Wednesday.

Chelsea Kepa; Azpilicueta (c), Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Kovacic, Kante, Mount; Willian, Giroud, Loftus-Cheek.

Subs Caballero, James, Zouma, Emerson, Gilmour, Barkley, Pulisic, Pedro, Abraham.

Villa Nyland; Konsa, Hause, Mings, Targett; Hourihane, Douglas Luiz, McGinn; El Ghazi, Davis, Grealish (c).

Subs Reina, Taylor, Elmohamady, Nakamba, Trezeguet, Jota, Vassilev, Baston, Samatta

The referee is Paul Tierney

Stats recap

Chelsea and Aston Villa meet for the 50th time in the Premier League with the Blues winning 25 of the games and Villa 12.Chelsea have won our past five league games against Aston Villa, our best winning run against the Villans.Aston Villa have lost nine of their last 10 Premier League games against Chelsea, winning the other at Villa Park in March 2014.In the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge on 4 December, the Blues won 2-1 with goals from Tammy Abraham (24) and Mason Mount (48). Trezeguet (48) scored for Villa.Our 8-0 equal all-time best league win was against Aston Villa in December 2012, with Frank Lampard scoring one of the goals.

Villa have conceded 56 goals and faced 513 shots in the Premier League this season, more than any other club.Aston Villa have taken just two points from their last 63 available against ‘big six’ Premier League sides, drawing with Man City in November 2015 and with Man Utd this season.Villa’s Jack Grealish has won more fouls this season (131) than any other player in a single Premier League campaign since Opta started recording such data in 1998/99.

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