The Aston Villa train just doesn’t look like it’s coming to a halt anytime soon.
Dean Smith’s side have been the undisputed surprise packages of the new Premier League season, flying high with some big victories away against the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal already.
They kept up their recent hot streak with a superb 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, made all the more impressive given the fact Tyrone Mings got himself sent off late on in the first-half.
Such is the hectic nature of the Christmas schedule, Villa find themselves playing again within the space of two days, travelling to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea.
Smith is likely to ring the changes to try and keep things fresh and ensure his players don’t pick up any unnecessary injuries, and with that in mind, below is a look at just how Villa might line up for the clash.
In goal, Emiliano Martinez kept yet another clean sheet, and his performances may even take another step up given the fact Tom Heaton finally returned to the first-team squad following a lengthy injury.
With Mings of course suspended, Smith will no doubt bring Ezri Konsa back into the fold, and he is likely to partner Kortney Hause in the centre of defence, with regulars Matty Cash and Matt Targett either side of them.
In midfield, Douglas Luiz might finally get a rest given the amount of football he has played this season for both club and country, and Marvelous Nakamba is on standby to play.
Further ahead, Jacob Ramsey has seen some first-team action already this season, and could be given the chance to start again in that number ten role, with Jack Grealish on the left and Bertrand Traore on the right – the in-form Anwar El Ghazi may be seen as a weapon to use off the bench against Chelsea to try and keep things fresh for Villa.
Predicted XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Hause, Targett; Nakamba, McGinn; Traore, Ramsey, Grealish, Watkins.