Aston Villa vs Chelsea: All you need to know
Chelsea and Aston Villa will tonight fight to a finish for a place in the last 16 of the FA Cup.
Between them, two Premier League sides have claimed the famous old trophy 15 times - Chelsea eight, Villa seven - but only one will continue in their quest to add to their respective tallies.
A replay was required after a stalemate at Stamford Bridge twelve days ago – one of five draws at this stage of the competition.
A rematch yesterday at Home Park between Leeds United and Plymouth Argyle saw the former progress. They will travel to the victor of tonight’s tie at Villa Park in round five on Wednesday 28 February.
Chelsea, the first Football League club from the capital to reach an FA Cup final (1914/15), is the only London-based club left in the competition. A fifth round has not been ‘Smoke-free’ since 1901/02.
This is the eighth time Chelsea and Aston Villa have been drawn together in the FA Cup, but winning at the Villans’ lair would be a new landmark for Chelsea in the competition, although we have won several matches at Villa Park when it was used a neutral venue.
A week ago against Newcastle United, Unai Emery’s side suffered their first home defeat in 16 games, but they rallied to thrash Sheffield United at the weekend.
Chelsea have suffered back-to-back defeats and, as Mauricio Pochettino noted, a reaction to the disappointment is required.
There will be 6,300 traveling fans urging on the Carabao Cup finalists. A result that would, as the head coach stated, ‘match the history of the club’ is needed.Chelsea team news
This replay was necessary because the first meeting at Stamford Bridge ended 0-0.
Chelsea were superior in the first half and pressed Aston Villa into several errors, but chances went begging and the visitors edged the second period.
Villa’s aggressive high defensive line is way out in front for catching Premier League opponents offside with 116 – 41 more than the next highest.
However, Cole Palmer, Raheem Sterling, and Noni Madueke slipped past them at the Bridge, leading to four shots on target to Villa’s one before the break.
Villa’s extra ten days of recovery time told in the second half and Djordje Petrovic had to be at his best against six attempts from set-pieces.
With eight goals conceded in the last two games, the Chelsea head coach may feel it’s time for a tactical change change.
Should he dispense with the false 9 used at the Bridge against Villa, Nico Jackson could return to lead the frontline. Carney Chukwuemeka will almost certainly be pushing for a start against his former side while Palmer will hope to maintain his strong goalscoring form if selected.
Trevoh Chalobah continues to build his fitness at Cobham after several months out, but Levi Colwill is not expected to feature as he continues his recovery from injury.Our previous FA Cup meetings with Aston Villa
Round five first leg
Round five second leg
Round three replay
0-0Opposition scout – Aston Villa
Emery’s experienced pragmatists have had mixed fortunes since we met, losing 3-1 at home to Newcastle before thrashing Sheffield United away.
Against the Blades, Villa raced into a three-goal lead with direct counterattacks that showcased the quality and athleticism of their front four.
When Newcastle visited Villa Park, though, the Magpies exposed a possible weakness as two of their goals came from a centre-back unmarked at set plays. The visitors also stifled the supply to Moussa Diaby and Ollie Watkins until the introduction of in-form winger Leon Bailey.
As we saw at the Bridge, Villa work the ball rapidly from front to back through Emi Martinez’s rocket launches or Douglas Luiz’s long passes to Watkins and are effective from shrewdly-constructed corners and free-kicks.
Illness forced influential midfielder Douglas Luiz off on Saturday but he is expected to be fit.
Emery’s team is, however, without set-play specialist Lucas Digne, Jhon Duran, and key defender Ezri Konsa. Pau Torres may make the bench but January signing Morgan Rogers, who scored Boro’s consolation in our Carabao Cup semi-final win, is cup-tied.FA Cup 2023/24 regulations
Should this game finish level after 90 minutes plus stoppages, 30 minutes extra time will be played. If the contest remains deadlocked, the tie will be decided by penalty kicks
Pochettino’s side have won our only penalty shoot-out this season: 4-2 against Newcastle in December’s League Cup quarter-final.
Five substitutions, plus concussion replacements, are allowed in the world’s oldest football knockout. The VAR system is in operation where Premier League clubs are the host, such as this one.
Accumulating two yellow cards results in a one-match suspension in the FA Cup; only red cards are transferable to other domestic competitions. All cautions are cleared after the quarter-finals, and Thiago Silva is currently the only Chelsea player cautioned in this season’s campaign.
Should the Blues make it to round five, the match will be played at the Bridge on Wednesday 28 February.
The quarter-finals are planned for 16/17 March, semi-finals on 20/21 April, and the final set for Saturday 25 May at Wembley Stadium. The winners of the final earn a place in the 2024/25 Europa League.Chelsea's FA Cup replay history
Chelsea have progressed from eight of our previous nine away replays after a home draw in the FA Cup.
The most recent example was against Birmingham City in 2012. The Blues drew the original fixture 1-1 under André Villas-Boas but, led by his replacement Roberto Di Matteo, won the midweek replay at St Andrew's 2-0 with second-half goals from Juan Mata and Raul Meireles.
The last time Chelsea required a rematch of any sort in this competition was in 2018 when extra time and penalties at Stamford Bridge eventually saw off Norwich.
There has been one previous replay played between tonight’s sides. That back was in 1987. The first game at Villa Park was drawn 2-2. The second resulted in a 2-1 win for Chelsea with Gordon ‘Jukebox’ Durie and an extra time penalty from Micky Hazard seeing us to victory
Chelsea's most famous replay in this competition was the 1969/10 final, won 2-1 at Old Trafford with goals from Peter Osgood and, again in additional time, David Webb.Away FA Cup replays following home draw
Wigan Athletic (2-2)
Crewe Alexandra (1-1)
Sheffield Wednesday (1-1)
W 2-1 (aet)
Newcastle United (1-1)
D 2-2 (pso)
West Ham United (1-1)
Tottenham Hotspur (3-3)
Southend United (1-1)
W 2-0Holy Trinity
Chelsea have won three of our FA Cup clashes at Villa’s stadium on Trinity Road. None of them came against the club that call Villa Park home, but all secured our passage into the final.
The first of those semi-final victories, against Everton, came while World War One raged in March 1915 and was earned with two goals in nine second-half minutes by Jimmy Croal and Harry Halse.
Just over half a century later, Tony Hateley’s header ousted Leeds to set up the first all-London final against Spurs.
Most recently, in April 2002, neighbours Fulham were seen off by a John Terry winner.Chelsea's FA Cup semi-finals at Villa Park
27 March, 1915
27 March, 1965
23 April, 1966
29 April, 1967
31 March, 1996
14 April, 2002