What Thomas Tuchel has done for the first time with his Chelsea side vs Aston Villa – Daniel Childs

Thomas Tuchel has certainly caused shock with his lineup for the visit of Aston Villa this evening at Stamford Bridge.

Most notably, the omissions of Captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho and Mason Mount, three key regulars who are all influential characters within the current first-team squad. It is rare to see a Chelsea eleven without any of the trio, so rare that this is the first time Tuchel has fielded a Premier League side without one. Is that a risk?

Especially when you factor in the events of the previous two encounters with Villa last season, as Dean Smith took 4 points off us.

The only other grumble personally is the omission again of Ben Chilwell who has yet to play any competitive minutes this season. The fact that others are gaining their first minutes of the season in Tuchel’s mass rotation, are there more reasons for the England fullback to be concerned?

For all the celebrity nonsense in Manchester, Romelu Lukaku’s return to Stamford Bridge has somehow gone under the radar, but it is an emotional moment. He looks to be in an attacking two with Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech naturally dropping deeper to pick up the ball in more central areas.

Ziyech was brilliant in pre-season and netted in the Super Cup before his injury, he can make a big impression this year and this will hopefully be the first of many positive steps for the Moroccan.

Saul Niguez does get his first start for the club after his deadline day loan from Atletico Madrid. The ankle injury to N’Golo Kante only further highlights the importance of this signing and with Tuchel’s praise of the Spaniard, will hopefully be able to rediscover his best form in a new environment.

Trevoh Chalobah has now started both of the league games at the Bridge this season, following his star performance and brilliant strike against Palace.

Thiago Silva starts after all of the chaos surrounding a potential FIFA ban for Brazilian players in the Premier League. He was brilliant during the second half against Liverpool, so hopefully he can put in an assured performance tonight.

Saul Niguez makes his first Chelsea start against Aston Villa tonight in the Premier League.
Saul Niguez makes his first Chelsea start against Aston Villa tonight in the Premier League.

Lastly of note is the return of Callum Hudson-Odoi who starts at right-wingback. Hudson-Odoi was understandably pushing for a loan move in the closing days of the window after no minutes in the first three league games. But this is a pleasant surprise for Callum to be given a chance after so much debate over his future.

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Even if I would like to see Callum in his favoured left-sided role, this is an improvement and the winger showed last term he can be impactful on that wing influencing our build-up which heavily relies on our wing-backs providing width.

I’m always fearful of Danny Ings – who has 2 goals in his last 4 against the Blues. But this is the sort of occasion Chelsea need to prove they are capable of dominating with style, rather than stumbling in baffling fashion. More than the bigger clashes against fellow title rivals, these types of games will likely define Tuchel’s title ambitions.

What do you think about Chelsea’s lineup? Follow our new CareFreeChelsea Writer Daniel Childs on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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