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How should Chelsea line up against Aston Villa in first match of Restart?

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Aston Villa vs. Chelsea, Premier League: You choose the starting lineup

Chelsea v Reading: Friendly Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Only two more sleeps until Chelsea take to the pitch for a bit of competitive football! It won’t be football as we knew it, but it will be football nonetheless — full of the same frustrations, glories, hopes, dreams, and issues as before.

For Chelsea specifically, it will mean the restart of our top-four campaign, which had seen plenty of ups and down in the first 29 matches and will probably see a fair few more in the remaining 9.

One thing that will also be different but in a good way is the Chelsea squad’s overall health, which is somewhat ironic in a pandemic but is a more than welcome development. Not once so far this season has Frank Lampard been able to call on all his players, and while that still remains the case, several players who were injured in March have now recovered and are supposedly fit to play.

That includes Christian Pulisic, who last played on January 1st, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who last played on May 15 ... 2019. Thirteen months later, RLC is said to be raring to go and has been in great form during this pseudo pre-season, taking full part in all the training sessions, playing in all three friendlies and scoring several goals as well.

We also welcome back N’Golo Kanté, who’s been bothered and limited by a series of minor injuries for over a year, and Tammy Abraham, who was dealing with ankle and leg problems before the interruption. Everybody else is rested, fit, and ready — including Willian and Pedro, who technically remain Chelsea players for (at least?) 12 more days.

The only exception is Callum Hudson-Odoi, who just returned to training this week, and possibly Reece James, who also hadn’t been a full participant in the last few weeks (but has returned this week). Andreas Christensen will be wearing a split for a broken finger while Jorginho is serving out a suspension from before.

UPDATE: Fikayo Tomori has picked up an injury in training as well and will miss the first week.

Choose wisely!

(Live results)