LONDON (Sporting Alert) – Chelsea FC manager Rafa Benitez has made three adjustments from the team that beat Leeds in the Capital One Cup for today’s Barclays Premier League clash against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea Aston Villa live stream in on the Chelsea Football Club website at www.chelseafc.com.
What: BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Sunday, 23 December
As he did in the first game during the Club World Cup, Benitez has decided on pushing Brazilian defender David Luiz into the central midfield area, with his fellow countryman Oscar making way to join the returning Ramires on the bench.
Also coming back into the starting team are Ashley Cole, replacing Ryan Bertrand and Eden Hazard, who replaces Marko Marin on the wing.
Frank Lampard gets his first start in the Barclays Premier League since early October and will play alongside Luiz in midfield.
Victor Moses also gets a starting place, while Fernando Torres, as expected, is once again selected to lead the attack.
After sitting out his one match suspension, Gary Cahill comes into the open central defensive area left by Luiz, as captain John Terry continues to be out because of an injury.
In the meantime, Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is not a fan of playing Darren Bent, especially given the great form of Christian Benteke so far this season.
In fact, Bent was not even on the substitutes bench.
Andreas Weimann, Barry Bannan, Ashley Westwood and Eric Lichaj are all amongst the starters for an Aston Villa side that battered Liverpool in its last Premier League fixture.
TEAM LINE-UPS Chelsea v Aston Villa
Chelsea FC: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Luiz, Lampard, Moses, Mata, Hazard, Torres.
Subs: Turnbull, Ramires, Oscar, Ferreira, Marin, Piazon, Ake.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Herd, Clark, Baker, Lowton, Bannan, Westwood, Lichaj, Weimann, Holman, Benteke.
Subs: Given, Ireland, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Delph, Bowery, Bennett.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)