Chelsea's next match in the Premier League is against defending champions Manchester City. But 3 days before that is a clash with Aston Villa in the EFL Cup. That is a match Chelsea needs a strong squad to win given how tough it was when both sides met in the Premier League after the International break. Having said that, there are 3 key players Chelsea should rest in that game as winning the Premier League takes priority over winning the EFL Cup. With the quality and depth of the Chelsea squad, their replacements should be able to do a good job. Without any further delay here are the 3 players and why they should not be starting.
1) Thiago Silva
The Brazilian was Chelsea's best defender last season and his performance against Tottenham showed he still is. There is no doubt he will be missed if he doesn't play but it is necessary given he is no spring chicken.
As players age, their recovery time takes longer, and with Silva currently 36 years old, the Brazilian international cannot be at his best if he is playing twice a week all the time. To be sure he will be at his best against Manchester City, I think he has to miss the EFL Cup. Luckily Chelsea showed at the beginning of the season that they can cope without the Brazilian. Trevor Chalobah should play instead of him.
2) N'Golo Kante
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Although Kante is not as young as he once was, he is not as old as Silva either. Therefore, the problem here is the injuries he seems unable to avoid. After playing against Tottenham he is fit to play against Aston Villa. However, playing him in that match would be a risk as he could get injured again. Saul Niguez should play instead of him, that would give the Spaniard a chance to show his first game for Chelsea was far from his best.
3) Romelu Lukaku
Photo credit: Eurosport
Romelu Lukaku's performances are among the reasons why Chelsea is top of the Premier League table. He has played 90 minutes in every game that Chelsea has played since he returned to the club and he has scored some crucial goals too. Like Kante and Silva, he is fit to play against Aston Villa but because of his importance to the team, he has to sit out that one.
Timo Werner came on in the second half against Tottenham but once again he failed to finish off a good chance that was set up by Lukaku. However, he assisted Antonio Rudiger's goal though. Having said that, Lukaku is the better striker, Chelsea won't be the same without him against Manchester City.
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