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Name the Starting XI - Villa (a)

This wasn`t how the script was supposed to have been written.

Last night, when Spurs visited Stamford Bridge, we were supposed to have wrapped up a Champions League place thereby negating the requirement to go to in-form Aston Villa to get a result.

But the 2-2 draw, last night, against Spurs, means that we still need one more win out of our last two fixtures, to secure a top four spot.

But Rafa Benitez faces a dilemma!

Just around the corner, next Wednesday, Chelsea will be in Amsterdam contesting a major European Final, prompting the following questions:-

1 - Does Rafa rotate (save) his starting eleven thereby resting a few of his key players for the Benfica clash on Wednesday?


2 - Does he take it one game at a time, play his best eleven on Saturday, secure that fourth place spot and then worry about the Europa League Final when that vital top-four spot is safe?


3 - Does he opt for the first option knowing that if it goes pear-shaped at Villa Park, there`s always the Everton game to rescue the situation?

Here at Vital Chelsea we`d like to know your thoughts on the 3 questions above, as well as you all trying to second-guess Rafa`s starting eleven for the visit to Villa Park this Saturday lunch-time.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday May 9 2013

Time: 4:36PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
As a Villa fan, I'd like him to rest the big guns and concentrate on Benfica ;) lol
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09/05/2013 16:53:00

I was rooting for you last night and felt a bad as any Chelsea fan when Spurs scored their second. That goal menas a very differen team starting to the one that would have had you won. On the plus side we are a very different team than the one you thrashed before Christmas. COTVABU
irish villa
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09/05/2013 16:58:00

We should get top4 rapped up before anything else, but we know where rafa's priorities lie.i won't be suprise to se a węakened line guess is cech,iva,cahil,jt,cole..lampard,mikel...mata,benyaoun,
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09/05/2013 16:58:00

Should try and balance out for europa. Villa match: Cech;azi,cahill,Iva,bertrand; lampard,ramires; hazard,Mata,Moses; Ba. Benfica match: Cech azi terry cahill Cole. Luiz ramires. mazacar torres. If mikels fit play him and put Luiz as cb instead of cahill.
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09/05/2013 17:28:00

We have to beat villa because the everton game is going to be a draw.
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09/05/2013 17:29:00

ill opt to go all out at everton , and ofcourse benfica .
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09/05/2013 17:47:00

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09/05/2013 17:54:00

Cech, Iva, Luiz,Terry, Bertrand, Ramires, Lamps, moses, hazard, oscar, ba
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09/05/2013 17:58:00

cech, azpi-luiz-terry-cole, ramiers-mikel, Mata-Hazard-Oscar, Ba
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09/05/2013 18:14:00

Anyone thinking we are going to beat Everton in the last match that David Moyes manages before going to be the manager of ManU is on cheap hallucinogens... honestly it would have been significantly easier to have beaten Spurs. It is spurs that traditionally have the reputation and history of caving towards the end of the season, Everton on the other hand always finish strong (a reflection of their manager and his personality). Make no mistake about it, the Villa game is an absolute must win because i see the Everton game ending best case scenario being a draw. Our best hope is that Villa may actually have taken their collective foot of the pedal as they have reached the "holy grail" of 40 points which should see them safe from relegation. At this point the Europa league final has to be put aside..Beating Villa is paramount and if we can enhance our goal difference while doing it we better go for it because a draw against Everton subsequently may make goal difference against the Gunners an issue in sorting out who gets 3rd vs 4th which is a far bigger deal than many people seem to realize given when and against who the qualification game for the 4th placed team will be just to gain access to the group stages of next years Champions league tournament. Rafa may yet give the Chelsea fan base one last flip of the bird if things go south at Villa park on Saturday and honestly i am should never have been allowed to come to this. As for the line up it should essentially be the same one that started against Spurs except Ba should be where Torres was and JT should be where Ivanovic was. For subs lamps should be brought in when needed as well as Mikel if he is recovered and then later on if a a lead needs protecting Cahill can be brought in as well. That is what should be done but what Rafa will actually do is anyones guess. The guys eyes are on Amsterdam alone..our boys need to save our Team's collective bacon themselves by putting together the performance of their lives against Villa on saturday to ensure a win.
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09/05/2013 22:41:00

I guess he'll want to keep hazard 100% fit for benfica.He has confirmed lampard would be starting and i heard moses picked up a knee injury last night So:- Cech Ivanovic,cahill,terry,cole lampard,ramires oscar,mata,benayoun ba
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09/05/2013 22:44:00

But we all know rafa surprises everyone sometimes.we might see an unexpected lineup on saturday.
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09/05/2013 22:52:00

Our squad lacks depth but still marin doesnt make the is wrong with rafa?.or is marin injured?
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09/05/2013 23:24:00

Just keep Benayoun off the bench ... Start with BA and save Torres for the Europa. Dimwit 'The FAT ONE' ... how many goals has Torres scored in the EPL? Start BA or at least bring him in as a substitute. Any thing less than a win is really unacceptable. We can't hold all our cards (aces) for the last game. We just can't do that. This game is a must win.
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10/05/2013 05:21:00

Cech-Iva-Cahill-Terry-Bertrand-Ramires-Lampard-Moses-Oscar-Hazard-Ba...Subs: Mata, Marin, Ake, Torres, Mikel, Luiz....Bring on Marin, Mikel once the game is killed
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10/05/2013 09:53:00


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