By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

23rd Sep, 2023 | 8:10am

Aston Villa: 'One unknown' emerges for Premier League clash v Chelsea

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Aston Villa could struggle with their new European schedule ahead of their Premier League clash against Chelsea, according to Dan Bardell.

Unai Emery and his Villans will take the trip to West London on Sunday (24 September) following their European return fixture against Legia Warszawa – the first time they have to negotiate their new Thursday-to-Sunday schedule.

In the space of eight days, Villa will have played three matches, including the visits to Poland and London. They take the trip to Stamford Bridge to face a “wasteful” Chelsea side who are struggling to pick up points this season.

Bardell claims this new “unknown” for the Aston Villa squad is something Emery will have to deal with, but his side remains the favourites heading into the game. Man for man, Bardell claims very few Blues would get into Villa’s starting 11, setting up an exciting encounter in the Premier League.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “I think it’s a good time to play Chelsea. They’ve only won one game so far, and now we’re playing them away when the onus is on them. Villa have to get used to the Thursday-Sunday schedule and this is the first time that they will encounter that this season.

“I’ve seen a fair bit of Chelsea this season, they’re not quite there yet under Mauricio Pochettino, but I think they will get there. They’ve got a lot of injuries and they’re trying to integrate a lot of new players, it’s not always easy.

“They’re one of the most wasteful teams I’ve seen in front of goal I think I’ve ever seen, that’s probably been the case for two or three years now. It’s not a new thing, but Villa have to be defensively sound, unlike against Liverpool and Newcastle.

“Villa have got so much more going forward. If you had to pick a combined 11 of Villa and Chelsea, it’d be largely made up of Villa players. We went there and won convincingly last season. The one unknown is the European schedule, but I think Villa go in as favourites.”

In other Aston Villa news, the Villans want to double the wages of a Real Madrid midfielder.