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Ben Chilwell rested, new Palmer role, Mudryk dropped – Chelsea XI vs Aston Villa picked

Chelsea news as the Blues take on Aston Villa in a bid to keep their cup double dreams alive on Friday night with Mauricio Pochettino facing a number of selection dilemmas

Mauricio Pochettino’s attention has shifted sharply for Chelsea as focus turns to the FA Cup on Friday night. Having secured their passage into the Carabao Cup final on Tuesday – a game that ended with the expected result but came via a major first-leg defeat twist away at Middlesbrough – it is now time to get one back on Aston Villa.

Unai Emery’s side are where Pochettino had wanted to be at this stage of the season, sitting inside the Premier League’s top four and impressing massively. Since beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back in September they have lost just three games in all competitions and are level on points with Arsenal and Manchester City in second and third.

That defeat saw a very different Chelsea side though and Pochettino will be keen to respond strongly. It is nine games unbeaten at home now with the prospect of travelling to league leaders Liverpool on the horizon, and the SW6 faithful are hopeful of seeing an impressive run continue.

Chelsea will be able to call upon the same group of players that battered Boro 6-1 earlier in the week but will also be wary of putting too many minutes in the legs of returning players like Ben Chilwell and Carney Chukwuemeka. Christopher Nkunku and Malo Gusto remain out injured.

Here, football.london takes a look at the team that Pochettino could pick as he looks to balance game time with the need progress in the FA Cup.

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