Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic picked up a hamstring injury during Serbia’s 2-0 win over Albania on Thursday, and he is now expected to be out for at least three weeks.
In absence of Ivanovic, Jose Mourinho is likely to give young left back Abdul Rahman Baba another chance to impress.
The Blues need to reshuffle their defence with Spain international Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to start in his natural right back position.
Chelsea have made a nightmare start to the season, having lost four games already out of eight in the Premier League.
Mourinho, whose future came under intense speculation after Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Southampton, has vowed to fight back and guide his team within top four this season. For that to happen, Chelsea need to get some points in the table and that too quickly.
Chelsea’s biggest problem this season has been their defence – the same quartet that held the best defensive record in the league last season have leaked in 17 goals so far – the second-highest conceded in the Barclays Premier League.
Baba, 21, arrived from Augsburg this summer has two starts (against Maccabi Tel Aviv and Walsall) to his name since moving to Stamford Bridge and pressure on him will be high when he makes his league debut against Aston Villa this Saturday.
Mourinho wants Yarmolenko? Latest on Mikel
Mourinho was present in the stands to watch Spain’s 1-0 win over Ukraine in Kiev, and the subject of his visit was said to be Ukraine forward Yarmolenko.
According to Spanish newspaper AS, Mourinho’s main purpose of visit was to have a closer look at Yarmolenko, who will become a free agent next summer.
According to reports in Italy, Chelsea are willing to listen to offers for midfield John Obi Mikel in the January transfer window.
Mikel has been at Chelsea for nine years, making over 300 appearances, but he has become a peripheral figure in the side in recent seasons, especially after the return of Nemanja Matic to the club.
He has dropped down the pecking order at the Bridge behind Matic and Ramires, and probably the time is right for the Nigerian midfielder to leave Chelsea in search of regular football.