Paul Merson names the only way Chelsea will beat Aston Villa in crucial FA Cup clash

Mauricio Pochettino could be sacked if Chelsea’s results don’t improve soon (Photo: Getty)

Chelsea ‘don’t have a chance’ of beating Aston Villa in their FA Cup replay on Wednesday night – unless Cole Palmer can provide a ‘bit of brilliance’.

That is the opinion of Paul Merson, who cannot believe just how quickly and how far the Blues have fallen over the past two seasons.

Things have gone from bad to worse since Todd Boehly’s takeover, with the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino and even more investment in the squad failing to turn results around.

In their last two games, Chelsea have conceded eight goals, and with the club now 11th in the table, with all hope of qualifying for the Champions League gone, many fans want the manager gone.

‘It was bad against Liverpool but it got worse against Wolves. Losing 4-2 at home – no disrespect to Wolves – is not acceptable for Chelsea,’ Arsenal legend Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column.

‘I started supporting Chelsea at age five. My first game was 50 years ago. I can’t remember us getting beaten conceding four twice in a row and, believe me, when I was growing up supporting Chelsea, we weren’t great.

Mauricio Pochettino has too many options but he hasn’t got too many good players. You have got two players in the middle of the park, Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo, that cost over £200m. For that price, they should be dictating the game.

Cole Palmer’s form has been Chelsea’s only silver lining this season (Photo: Getty)

‘I can’t believe what’s happened and how quickly it’s turned. Chelsea were one of the top teams. I dread to think how long it was they went without losing at home.’

After a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge last month, the Blues travel to Villa Park with the victor set to host Leeds United in the FA Cup fifth-round.

Unai Emery’s high-flying side will be the favourites and Merson says he can’t see anything other than a win for the Villans, adding: ‘I don’t give Chelsea a chance, not even a chance.

‘That can’t be right. When was the last time I ever said that as a Chelsea fan?

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‘It was only a few years ago that the other team would have no chance against Chelsea. Everyone would be surprised if they won that game.

‘There might be a bit of brilliance from Cole Palmer to win it but that will cover over the cracks.’

Palmer has undoubtedly been Chelsea’s best player this season, scoring 14 goals and making seven assists in 29 games since joining from Manchester City last summer, but even he may not be enough to stop the Villa juggernaut.

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