Dean Smith believes Aston Villa have a stronger squad this season despite losing Jack Grealish.
The former Villa captain was sold to Manchester City this past summer for £100m.
And Smith says the Grealish sale has allowed Villa to become a more balanced team.
"I feel like we have a better squad of players this season," Smith said after the 3-0 loss to Chelsea on Saturday.
"The depth we have now and the talent we have allows us to play in Chelsea's half and that's what we want to do.
"We know that the way they play, they want to play through the sixes and 10s and we wanted to win the ball in their half and we did that and created some opportunities from that, as well as our set-pieces.
"I believe that with this group of players and the players that we've got, the Argentinians coming back and other coming back, we can actually go toe to toe with these teams now, whereas two years we couldn't."