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Chelsea Reserves 1 Aston Villa Reserves 1


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Chelsea reserves look to end their season tonight (Monday) in the same vein of form that has taken them to five games undefeated and 3-0 wins in their last two outings.

Aston Villa are the visitors to Griffin Park in a game that can be seen live on Chelsea TV and as away to Tottenham last week, first team squad members are involved for the Blues.

Steve Sidwell and Claudio Pizarro both start while leading the forward line will be Franco Di Santo, a hat-trick hero against Spurs.

The 18-year-old Argentine has six goals from seven reserve appearances so far as he acclimatises quickly to English football. Another January arrival, Branislav Ivanovic, has been a regular in Brendan Rodgers's selection recently but is away playing for the Serbian Olympic side against China.

Carl Magnay therefore returns to the defence alongside captain Jimmy Smith. Usually a midfielder, Smith showed versatility earlier in the season by filling in at the back.

The bench reflects the recent FA Youth Cup run with four regulars from the side that made the final named. Sergio Tejera and Patrick van Aanholt, other key members, start tonight.

They will be reacquainted with several of the Aston Villa youth team who were defeated in the Youth Cup semi-final. Goalscorers in that tie, Nathan Delfouneso and Harry Forrester, are among the subs, as is winger Marc Albrighton. Villa youth team captain Ciaran Clark starts in defence.

Former Arsenal keeper Stuart Taylor and ex-Spurs winger Wayne Routledge are also involved.

When Chelsea's reserve side visited Villa Park back in October, they suffered a 6-0 defeat with Marlon Harewood helping himself to a hat-trick and Patrick Berger also on the scoresheet.

The sides are more evenly-matched in experience tonight and erasing the memory of that defeat will be incentive to end the second string season on a high note.

The Chelsea team tonight is:

Stuart Searle, Shaun Cummings, Jimmy Smith ©, Carl Magnay, Patrick van Aanholt, Steve Sidwell, Claudio Pizarro, Sergio Tejera, Fabio Ferreira, Franco Di Santo, Phil Younghusband.

Subs: Rhys Taylor, Michael Woods Miroslav Stoch, Gaël Kakuta.

Aston Villa: Stuart Taylor, Chris Herd, Shane Lowry, Isaish Osbourne, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker, Mustapha Salifou, Wayne Routledge, Sam Williams, Barry Bannan, Shaun Maloney.

Subs: Nathan Delfouneso, Elliott Parish, Marc Albrighton, Harry Forrester, Eric Lichaj.

The game is at Brentford's Griffin Park with a 7pm kick-off. Admission is £5 for adults, £3 for oaps/juvs, free to season ticket holders.

Coverage of the game is in Chelsea TV's Monday Night Live which begins at 6.30pm and features a live phone-in after that match. There will also be all the latest news in the build-up to the Champions League.

Source: Chelsea FC

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Interesting to see if Di Santo does the business again. Must be due some first team appearances next season.

Would certainly hope so, his scoring record has been great so far and he has looked the business too. Hopefully he will get himself on the scoresheet again tonight. Strange that the season is comming to an end already, going to be another hectic summer i feel...

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Would certainly hope so, his scoring record has been great so far and he has looked the business too. Hopefully he will get himself on the scoresheet again tonight. Strange that the season is comming to an end already, going to be another hectic summer i feel...

This season has definitley flown by. It's been one tempered with less excitement even though Prem position and CL semis. To me it's a season of 'what could have been..' up to now...But yeah the outs and ins of the Summer are something to look forward to, as long as theres a definite out of one in particular. ;)

Maybe a few of tonights starters apart from Di Santo will get a run out next season

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This season has definitley flown by. It's been one tempered with less excitement even though Prem position and CL semis. To me it's a season of 'what could have been..' up to now...But yeah the outs and ins of the Summer are something to look forward to, as long as theres a definite out of one in particular. ;)

Maybe a few of tonights starters apart from Di Santo will get a run out next season

It has been one of the most bizare seasons i can ever remember! But the general feeling from the season is not a good one dispite what we have achieved! IF this summer we can bring in a new manager and give the squad a slight overhaul we can look forward to some exciting things.

Would think Di Santo is the only one of the starters likely to feature for the first team next season (and i am including Sidwell and Pizarro in that). I would think that Sinclair, Cork and Mancienne if any are the likely players to make first team appearances next season. And depending on who is the manager and how they use young players we could see some of the more exciting prospects like Stoch, Kakuta and Tejera make an appearance or 2...

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It has been one of the most bizare seasons i can ever remember! But the general feeling from the season is not a good one dispite what we have achieved! IF this summer we can bring in a new manager and give the squad a slight overhaul we can look forward to some exciting things.

Would think Di Santo is the only one of the starters likely to feature for the first team next season (and i am including Sidwell and Pizarro in that). I would think that Sinclair, Cork and Mancienne if any are the likely players to make first team appearances next season. And depending on who is the manager and how they use young players we could see some of the more exciting prospects like Stoch, Kakuta and Tejera make an appearance or 2...

A new manager may be be inclined to give the likes of Stoch a try for CC games etc, it's important to keep the players hungry and not get disillusioned. Sinclair seems a definite prospect. Sahar has hardly set Yorkshire alight and would think can be offloaded. Kakuta looks a definite, not seen enough of Tejera...

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A new manager may be be inclined to give the likes of Stoch a try for CC games etc, it's important to keep the players hungry and not get disillusioned. Sinclair seems a definite prospect. Sahar has hardly set Yorkshire alight and would think can be offloaded. Kakuta looks a definite, not seen enough of Tejera...

The new manager should definately be someone willing to give these players a go. Sinclair should be playing, Mancienne has done enough to earn a place in the squad and the same with Cork who could be ideal for the holding role should we continue with it. Sahar will be given more time, probably on loan next season.

The real exciting players Kakuta, Stoch and Tejera should be given some sort of first team time next season to see how they cope.

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di santo he is more like crespo.. but from reading about him, he looks more like drogba..

who's he like esk? i think you had said drogs?

would be great if he could combine the best of both the worlds.. :P

Hmmm, i wouldn't say he is more like one than the other. He doesn't have Drogba's physical presence but he plays the lone striker role superbly, he isn't going to physically dominate defenders but he manages to bring the ball down and start plays very very well. He also has great skill on the ball and the ability to strike a ball out of no-where like Crespo, and his shot is like a rocket.....

Maybe a combination of the 2, i would say at a push more like Crespo than Drogs

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It was a hard game against the team likely to win the reserves league and not forgetting that our form this season has been pretty poor so i think overall we can claim this as a good result.

Di Santo played well again, not getting on the ball as much as he had done in previous games but he worked very hard again as he always does, should have scored early on with a very easy chance but he made up for it in the end by nodding over the keeper after a defensive mix up. Sergio Tejera for me was one of the most important players on the pitch last night, and it showed when he went off. His ability on the ball is incredible and he is such an inteligent player who can keep the ball and make things happen, was good to see him do this at reserve level!!

Fabio Ferreira is starting to show some good ability, just needs to work on his close control and final ball and he will be a great player, maybe comming too late though, we will have to wait and see. Stoch did well when he came on, had a couple of good chances and seemed to link up well with Di Santo.

Well the reserves season is over now and overall it wasn't the best. Was so much better once Di Santo came and the team had a real forward to focus on and bring into the game, made all the difference and he scored plenty of goals and worked very hard.

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