Aston Villa vs. Chelsea
Venue: Villa Park
Kick off: 4PM
On the final day of the Premier League season, Chelsea make the trip to Aston Villa knowing that a victory will confirm their place in next season’s Champions League.
Thomas Tuchel’s men picked up a crucial 2-1 victory over Leicester City last time out to leapfrog the Foxes and move into third spot in the Premier League table with a one-point lead over both Leicester and Liverpool.
Aston Villa made an impressive return to winning ways last time out, as they won 2-1 away at a Tottenham Hotspur side under the temporary charge of Ryan Mason.
The hosts led early through Steven Bergwijn, but an unfortunate Sergio Reguilon own goal levelled the game before Ollie Watkins put Dean Smith’s side ahead late in the first half, and they would go on to seal all three points.
That followed a disappointing away defeat to Crystal Palace, as the Villains led 2-1 until the 75th minute, before Wilfried Zaha equalised and Tyrick Mitchell netted the winner for the hosts with five minutes to go.
While they have seen a dip in form since the turn of the calendar year, having picked up 26 points from their first 14 games of the campaign, the Midlands outfit still find themselves in a more than respectable position in 11th spot, with no room for movement up or down the table on the final day of the campaign.
That is definitely a major improvement on last season, when Smith’s men avoided relegation by a single point thanks to a draw with West Ham United on the last day.
The Villains will now look to end the season in a positive manner as they aim to continue their improvement going into next campaign.
They take on a side who have far more to play for today, as Chelsea need a victory on the final day to ensure they finish in the top four.
Chelsea secured a huge victory last time out, as they took on Leicester City in a clash between sides in third and fourth spots in the top flight.
Antonio Rudiger opened the scoring early in the second half before Jorginho doubled their lead with a penalty, while Kelechi Iheanacho’s 76th-minute goal for the Foxes was not enough to spark a comeback.
That was an instant piece of revenge for the Blues after their defeat to Leicester in the FA Cup final last Saturday, as Youri Tielemans fired a long-range effort past Kepa Arrizabalaga to fire his side to a 1-0 win.
Since Tuchel’s appointment in January, the Blues have turned their season around, picking up 38 points from the 18 league matches under the control of the German.
As a result, and thanks to the crucial victory over Leicester, the London side have moved into pole position to qualify for the Champions League, which looked almost impossible at the turn of the year under Frank Lampard.
With the Champions League final also looming next Saturday, the Blues will look to end their season in style by lifting the continental trophy and sealing a top-four finish with a victory on the final day.
Aston Villa possible XI: Martinez, Konsa, Hause, Mings, Targett, McGinn, Nakamba, Traore, Grealish, El Ghazi, Watkins.
Chelsea possible XI: Mendy, Rudiger, Silva, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Jorginho, Kovacic, James, Mount, Werner, Pulisic.