Fans have reacted to Chelsea starting without centre-back Thiago Silva in their FA Cup fourth-round replay at Aston Villa on Wednesday (February 7).
Coming off two heavy defeats in the league – 4-1 at Liverpool and 4-2 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers – manager Mauricio Pochettino has rung the changes as he seeks a return to winning ways.
While the Blues are languishing in 11th place in the league, they have done fairly well in the Cups. However, the Blues drew goalless at home to Villa in the FA Cup fourth round two weeks ago, necessitating a replay.
Ben Chilwell has been given the captain’s armband, which hasn’t gone well with many fans. However, many are not happy with Silva starting on the bench. One tweeted:
“Hypertension football 2.0”
Another chimed in:
“Just sack him. We don’t care about anything else.”
Here are some of the top reactions on X:
The Blues’ away form has been wretched recently, losing six of their last seven games across competitions. The only win in this period is a 3-2 victory at Luton Town in the league.
“We played well at Stamford Bridge vs Villa” – Chelsea manager
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino said that his team played well at home against Villa but doesn’t wish to dwell on the past.
Ahead of the fourth-round replay at Villa Park, the Argentine said in his pre-match press conference (as per the Blues’ website) that the players have to ready for a tough battle:
It’s true we played well in the game we played at Stamford Bridge [vs Villa]. In football it is like this, we cannot change the past, only we can affect the future. We told the players to be ready.
“We need to assess our players and until tomorrow I do not want to decide the team because it is about assessing.”
The winner of this tie will face Leeds United in the fifth round on February 28 at home.