The teams meet again at Villa Park following a goalless draw in West London. The winner of this midweek clash will secure a home tie against either Leeds United or Plymouth Argyle in the next round. Chelsea had reinforced their defense at Stamford Bridge before the previous encounter with Aston Villa, but neither side managed to secure a decisive victory.
Aston Villa, managed by Unai Emery, had faced three winless matches before their FA Cup fixture, slipping slightly out of the Premier League title race. However, they bolstered their Champions League aspirations with a convincing 5-0 win against Sheffield United, showcasing their attacking prowess.
Despite their recent struggles, Villa still have a chance to close the gap on league leaders with their manager's successful track record in cup competitions. By defeating Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, Villa achieved their best result in the tournament in several years.
Chelsea, on the other hand, faced a disappointing defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers, extending their poor away form. Manager Mauricio Pochettino acknowledged the challenges ahead and the uncertainty surrounding his position at the club.
Despite historical records favoring Chelsea in FA Cup replays and previous Premier League encounters against Aston Villa, their recent goal drought against Villa poses a significant challenge. Pochettino's side risks failing to score in four consecutive matches against Villa for the first time, adding to their current woes.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONAfter knocking Middlesbrough out of the FA Cup in the third round, Villa dealt another blow to their Championship counterparts by securing Morgan Rogers from the Riverside Stadium. However, Rogers, who made a substitute appearance at Bramall Lane, is ineligible for this match due to cup-tie rules.
Manager Emery faces a slew of fitness concerns ahead of Wednesday's rematch. Emi Buendia, Tyrone Mings, and Jhon Duran remain sidelined for several months due to knee and hamstring injuries, while Ezri Konsa, who sustained a knee injury against Sheffield United, will be out for three to four weeks.
Lucas Digne continues to recover from a thigh injury, but there's some good news with Pau Torres returning to the bench after an ankle injury.
Bertrand Traore has left for Villarreal on a free transfer, and following a convincing win at Bramall Lane, Emery may stick with the same lineup unless fatigue forces changes, in which case Moussa Diaby and Matty Cash could come into play.
Chelsea's injury list is equally daunting, with Lesley Ugochukwu, Wesley Fofana, Robert Sanchez, Reece James, Marc Cucurella, and Romeo Lavia all undergoing rehabilitation for various injuries.
Levi Colwill is also ruled out with a tendon injury, while Trevoh Chalobah, although back in team training, will need time to regain match fitness after not featuring all season.
After a dismal Premier League performance, Manager Pochettino may opt for numerous changes. Carney Chukwuemeka, Benoit Badiashile, Mykhaylo Mudryk, and Nicolas Jackson, fresh from the Africa Cup of Nations, are vying for starting positions.
POSSIBLE LINE-UPSAston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Carlos, Lenglet, Moreno; McGinn, Kamara, Luiz, Bailey; Diaby, Watkins
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Petrovic; Gusto, Disasi, Badiashile, Chilwell; Chukwuemeka, Fernandez; Palmer, Nkunku, Mudryk; Jackson
Aston Villa 2-1 Chelsea
Although we expect Chelsea to avoid a scoreless result against Villa, they might struggle against Emery's in-form attackers. This could see Villa through to the fifth round, adding to the pressure on Chelsea's manager, Pochettino.