Chelsea predicted lineup vs Aston Villa - Carabao Cup

Tom Gott
Chelsea are ready to battle Aston Villa
Chelsea are ready to battle Aston Villa / James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Chelsea will begin their Carabao Cup journey on Wednesday when Dean Smith's Aston Villa roll into town.

The Blues beat these opponents 3-0 just a few weeks ago, but with a huge clash with Manchester City right around the corner, Thomas Tuchel will likely look to use this game as a chance to hand some minutes to his fringe players.

Here's how he could set up.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Trevoh Chalobah
Chalobah is looking for more minutes / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) - Kepa was excellent last time out against Tottenham and should keep his spot here, particularly as Edouard Mendy is dealing with a hip injury.

Trevoh Chalobah (CB) - The youngster played the full 90 in the last meeting with Villa, but as one of the reserve defenders, most of his minutes will come in these cup competitions.

Andreas Christensen (CB) - Tuchel likes using one of Christensen and Thiago Silva as his central defender, and there's no chance he'll risk the ageing Brazilian just a few days before Man City.

Malang Sarr (CB) - The lesser-spotted Sarr had been expected to leave on loan in the summer, but since he stuck around, he desperately needs these minutes.

2. Midfielders

Saul Niguez
Saul really struggled against Villa / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi (RM) - A lot has been made over Hudson-Odoi's lack of minutes this season, so Tuchel will be keen to give the youngster another chance.

Saul Niguez (CM) - Saul gave us an absolute stinker in his 45-minute debut against Villa, but he's had a little more time to settle in now and should be a bit more composed.

Jorginho (CM) - Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley both want minutes, but while Saul can't be completely trusted, Tuchel will likely look to partner him up with Jorginho.

Ben Chilwell (LM) - Chilwell is in desperate need of minutes after watching Marcos Alonso fly ahead of him in the pecking order.

Hakim Ziyech (AM) - Another of those to have played against Villa, Ziyech has been flirting with a starting role this season and will be keen to take his chance here.

Mason Mount (AM) - One of the bigger disappointments of the season so far, Mount is still looking to get things going again after a busy summer.

3. Forward

Timo Werner
Werner has found minutes hard to come by / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Timo Werner (ST) - Werner hasn't started since the opening day of the season, so a good performance here would go a long way to forcing himself back into Tuchel's plans.