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Chelsea's Likely XI for Match Day 9 (EPL - 17.10.2015)
With the International Break having come to end, the English premier league, just as most leagues in Europe, resumes from where they left off this weekend.
Chelsea will be hoping to put an end to their losing ways as they host struggling Aston Villa who has had it worst that the champions with a single win and only 4 points so far from 8 matches.
Here is how Chelsea will likely line up for the game:
Chelsea vs. Aston Villa
A capable replacement for the injured Courtois (who is expected back sometime in December), the former Stoke City shot-stopper has been at his best since being called upon and will be on hand again on Saturday. Bergovic will be counting on his defense to better their previous game where he was left exposed and could do nothing about the 3 goals that crept past him on the night. A clean sheet will do Bergovic and Chelsea a world of good, confidence-wise, as the Bosnian will hope to add to the one clean-sheet he has only been able to manage so far.
Of all the Chelsea regulars this season, "Dave" (as he is often referred to by the Chelsea fans) has been the most dependable of the lot. Preferred on the left by the Chelsea boss, the Spain international will most likely be starting on his preferred side of the defense (the right) for the first time this season owing to the absence of Bransilav Ivanovic, who picked a knocked while representing Serbia in the European qualifiers.
Abdul Rahman Baba
Signed last August from German side Augsburg, the 21-year old natural left-footed Ghana international is yet to mark his debut for the premier league champions. With Ivanovic out and Azapilicueta looking most likely to replace the Serb at right-back, Baba Rahman will provide the much needed support on the left side of the Chelsea back-four where his blistering pace when will come in more than handy going forward and tracking back.
Left out in Chelsea's 3:1 defeat to Southampton on Match Day 8, Kurt Zouma will be all too willing to prove to Jose Mourinho that he deserves a permanent place in the Chelsea defense this weekend. The France international's absence in the previous game proved a very costly one as the Blue's defense got breached thrice in the night, highlighting the importance of the Frenchman and, sadly, the decline of the Chelsea captain, leader and legend, John Terry.
Since signing for the Blues in January 2011, Gary Cahill has been an integral part of the Chelsea defense. Though his form has rather fluctuated in the last couple months, especially towards to end on last season, the England international has remained a regular in Chelsea's defense. Cahill will be looking to provide the much required guard in defense and hope that his latest streak of good fortunes on the international scheme for England can rob off on Chelsea as they seek to turn their woeful season around.
Having received wide praised from fans, managers and pundits alike as the best defensive midfielder in England in the 2014/15 season, Nemanja Matić has struggled to reestablish himself as a midfield force for Chelsea this season. Following his bizarre substitution against Southampton on Match Day 8 after having come on as a sub, the Serbia international was further red-carded in Serbia's defeat to Portugal during the international break.
Jose Mourinho will be looking to inspire the Serb's confidence by selecting him against Villa on Saturday as there might not be a better time to try and get the "old" Matic back than against an Aston Villa side very short of confidence.
A rather very long shot off the starting XI (since Mourinho seem to always favour Fabregas over him), the young Englishman has become the clamour of many-a-Chelsea fan recently following the Blues woeful displays this season. Starved for playing time by the Chelsea manager, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has given a rather (more than) worthy account of himself the handful of times he has been called upon this season. Yet to make a start in a competitive match in premier league, the Chelsea home fans will be hoping that Loftus-Cheek's performances for England's U21, where he was again on the scoring sheet, would have caught Mourinho's interest and that the Portuguese gaffer will be willing to replaced his beloved Fabregas with the young lad from London.
Regardless of the fact that the Chelsea number 10 is having his worst period ever in a Chelsea shirt, Eden Hazard still remains the best Chelsea has at the moment. The skillful Belgian was on hand in helping seal qualification for his country in the European qualifiers en route to their ascendancy to #1 in FIFA's world rankings. Hazard is expected to approach Saturday's game with guns a-blazing as he hopes to impress in front of the Chelsea's home supporters (that voted him as their overwhelming favorite last season), and put behind him the disappointments of missing a spot-kick for Belgium; the second he has missed in just under a month.
Oscar has been an irregular starter in the Chelsea team as he struggles to stay fit following his injury from last season. Fortunately for the Blues, the Brazilian will be on hand for Chelsea's match against Villa; coming back from a uneventful international break where he saw plenty of the ball but got let down by his execution.
Oscar will be looking to get his season underway and hopefully rediscover the form that saw him inspire the confidence of Jose Mourinho to the point that the Portuguese gaffer thought Chelsea no longer required the service of a certain Juan Mata at Stamford Bridge.
Willian has been by far the most dependable of Chelsea's forward players in the 2015/2016 campaign. His impressive goal tally of 4 goals from 4 games (in all competitions) makes him Chelsea's top scorer this season. Fresh from the international break where we was on the score sheet yet again as Brazil beat Venezuela, Jose Mourinho will be looking to the pacy Brazilian to inspire confidence in his team, and hope that his impressive run on form rubs on the other members of the squad as he chases all 3 points on Saturday.
Diego Costa needs no introduction. His absence, following a 3-match retrospective ban for a series of ungentlemanly behavior towards Laurent Koscielny during Chelsea's win over Arsenal, has been hard felt by the Mourinho's men. The Brazil-born Spain international is expecting to jump right back into the thick of things and get his "scoring-mojo" back against Aston Villa on Saturday. Diego Costa is often the difference between winning and losing for Chelsea and the fans will sure be on hand cheering and jeering in hope that the former is the case at the Bridge on Saturday.