Chelsea v Aston Villa
Chelsea face Aston Villa in the final of the NextGen Series NextGen Series

Chelsea face Aston Villa in the final of the 2013 NextGen Series on Monday evening. The match will be preceded by the third-place play-off between Arsenal and Portugal's Sporting Lisbon.

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off, for the NextGen Series' final, at the Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia stadium in Italy is fixed for 5pm BST. Live coverage is on British Eurosport and starts at 4.30pm BST.


Much as their senior team did last season, Chelsea's youngsters have fought their way past some of the biggest clubs in Europe to reach this showpiece event. The Blues have beaten the likes of Juventus and Barcelona to make the final and eliminated London rivals Arsenal in the semi final, in a thrilling 4-3 epic, to book their place in this match.

Chelsea were drawn in Group 3 in the early stages, with CSKA Moscow, Ajax and Molde for company. Qualification to the knock-out rounds should have been an easy enough task for the English club but they were forced to wait until the very last match - a 3-3 away draw to Ajax - to move through to the next stage.

Even then, though, the Blues only made it through as one of the best third-placed teams from the group stages. They finally found a degree of flair and form with a confident 2-0 win over Barcelona in the first knock-out round and followed that by hammering Juventus 4-1 in the quarter final.

The good news for fans is the Chelsea squad has a number of talented youngsters and possess, in theory and on paper, more than enough firepower to halt Villa's incredible run. Among the players who will be closely watched is Lewis Baker.

Villa, meanwhile, have been the surprise story of the 2013 NextGen Series. They came through quite a tough group, where they finished second to Sporting Lisbon after winning three of their six games.

The fact they scored 12 times in those six games tells us something about the calibre of the side. As does the fact they are unbeaten since the 1-0 defeat to PSV Eindhoven, in a group game, back in August.

Also, like Chelsea, the Midlands' youngsters have had to face some big names en route to this match. They faced Ajax in the first knock-out round and then Greek powerhouses Olympiakos in the quarter final, whom they edged 1-0 thanks to a goal by Graham Burke.

Team Form


  • Last Five: W W W D D
  • Last Match: Chelsea 4 - 3 Arsenal

Aston Villa

  • Last Five: W W W W W
  • Last Match: Aston Villa 3 - 1 Sporting Lisbon

Team News

Baker, an attacking midfielder, inspired his team to the win over Arsenal in the last match and has scored four times in the tournament so far. Expect the creative 17-year-old to be the conduit for his club's attacking moves, particularly since he can play off both his right and left legs.

Chelsea will also be able to call on the services of centre-back Nathan Ake for this match. The Dutchman is one of a rare breed of defenders who boasts of ability with the ball at his feet and is critical in helping the club to build play from the back.

Adam Nditi is unavailable, which means Conor Hunte will step in.

Probable Line-Up: Beeney; Christensen, Davey, Ake, Wright; Boga, Kiwomy; Loftus-Cheek, Baker, Hunte; Feruz

Michael Drennan and Burke have been Villa's success stories this tournament, with the former scoring six times and his Irish compatriot adding another three, including the all important goal against Olympiakos. Both players are very highly rated by Villa's first team boss Paul Lambert and staff at Villa Park and it is easy to see why.

Tragically for Villa, Drennan is unavailable for this match, meaning Jack Grealish will likely retain his place. The 17-year-old scored the second goal in the semi final. Otherwise, Villa will most probably name an unchanged side.

Probable Line-Up:Watkins; Webb, Kinsella, Lyden, Donacien; Lewish, Barton, Carruthers, Grealish; Robinson, Burke