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Chelsea vs. Aston Villa predicted line-ups

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that prolific striker Diego Costa will return to lead the line against Aston Villa tomorrow afternoon, despite still being nowhere near 100% fitness.

Costa was rested for the midweek League Cup tie against Bolton Wanderers, with fellow summer signing Loic Remy making his first Chelsea start in attack.

Mourinho will put Costa straight back in his starting XI for a return to Premier League action though, along with a whole host of changes which should return to the Blues to full strength against a Villa side who have proved already this season they are capable of springing a surprise on the road.

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Big guns will all return

Costa will be joined back in the Chelsea side by Thibaut Courtois, Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry, who were all given the night off on Wednesday after last Sunday's demanding match against defending champions Manchester City.

Petr Cech, Filipe Luis and Kurt Zouma will make way for the defensive trio, while Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas will expect to be restored in central midfield in place of Jon Obi Mikel and Nathan Ake.

It's further forward that Mourinho has slightly more testing calls to make, namely who plays just behind Costa as Chelsea's number 10.

Return to more attack-minded 4-2-3-1 on the cards

Mourinho used Ramires in a deeper role to create a more solid 4-3-3 formation against City, but with the Brazilian sidelined by a knee injury you can expect the 4-2-3-1 which Chelsea have used brilliantly so far this season to return against Villa.

Eden Hazard will be restored on the left-hand side, while Willian looks likely to get the nod over on the right-hand side.

That leaves Oscar and Andre Schurrle to fight for a central spot. Both men featured in midweek but it's the German star who has looked impressive so far this season, despite a defensive lapse against City which let Blues legend Frank Lampard in for an equaliser late on at the Etihad.

Villa meanwhile should finally be over a virus which plagued their preparations for last weekend's 3-0 defeat to Arsenal, as Paul Lamber bids to mastermind a repeat of last season's heroics against the title-chasing Blues at Villa Park.

Chelsea predicted XI to face Villa: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Schurrle, Willian, Costa

Aston Villa predicted XI to face Chelsea: Guzan, Hutton, Senderos, Baker, Cissokho, Delph, Cleverley, Westwood, Weimann, Richardson, Agbonlahor

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Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Diego Costa
Premier League

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