Aston Villa v Chelsea: FA Cup fourth-round replay – live | FA Cup

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Key events

Mauricio Pochettino speaks to ITV, and is asked why Thiago Silva isn’t in the starting XI. “Er, why the question? … I have other players also … I am professional, I am a professional coach, and I pick my players because of performance and balance … I understand the question but I think, you know … I want to be calm … I need to be professional, I am always professional, I am going to pick the decision because of the professional side.”

“It’s based on that and nothing else?”

“My answer was clear, no?”

It’s time to change. If you wait any longer it will be too late 💙💙

— Belle Silva (@bellesilva) February 4, 2024

I’m sorry that my personal outburst as a passionate Chelsea fan has caused such an impact. I’m passionate about the team, I thrive on victories and I’m saddened by defeats.
We all want the same thing, a winning team, come on Chelsea!!💙💙💙

— Belle Silva (@bellesilva) February 7, 2024

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Another historical oddity. Chelsea are the last London club left in this year’s competition. If they get knocked out tonight, it’ll be the first time no Londoners have featured in the fifth round since 1902.

These two grand clubs have won the famous old pot 15 times between them. The distribution is a bit odd, though. Aston Villa lifted the trophy in 1887, 1895, 1897, 1905, 1913, 1920 and 1957, at which point Chelsea were still stuck on zero and popular entertainers such as Norman ‘A Song, A Smile and A Piano’ Long could get away with satire like this …

… but while a pigeon has yet to hatch a guinea pig and blame it on the cat, Chelsea have since “went and won the fi-i-nal”. Eight times, in fact: 1970, 1997, 2000, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2018. Villa are still stuck on seven. A notable shift in momentum, it’s fair to say.

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Aston Villa make two changes to the starting XI selected for the original tie at Stamford Bridge 12 days ago. Diego Carlos and Leon Bailey come in for Moussa Diaby, who drops to the bench, and Ezri Konsa, who has a knee injury.

Chelsea make three changes to their starting line-up from that match. Ben Chilwell, Malo Gusto and Nicolas Jackson replace Thiago Silva, Alfie Gilchrist and Raheem Sterling, all of whom drop to the bench.

The teams

Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Diego Carlos, Lenglet, Alex Moreno, Kamara, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Tielemans, Bailey, Watkins.
Subs: Torres, Chambers, Diaby, Zaniolo, Olsen, Ramsey, Iroegbunam, Wright, Kellyman.

Chelsea: Petrovic, Gusto, Disasi, Badiashile, Chilwell, Caicedo, Fernandez, Palmer, Gallagher, Madueke, Jackson.
Subs: Thiago Silva, Sterling, Mudryk, Bettinelli, Chukwuemeka, Nkunku, Gilchrist, Bergstrom, Samuels-Smith.

Referee: Thomas Bramall (Sheffield).

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It’s a rerun of the 2000 final. Whatever happens, tonight’s game won’t be as bad as that thundering non-event. But otherwise, good luck calling it. Aston Villa have won two of their last three against Chelsea and drawn the other; Chelsea have won five of their last six at Villa Park. So it’s swings and roundabouts. Kick off is at 8pm GMT and we’ll have extra time and penalties if necessary. It’s on!

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