Chelsea’s rigorous schedule resumes with a Boxing Day match against Aston Villa, with the Blues now six points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Villa returns to action in 10th place, having picked up 12 points from six matches since Steven Gerrard’s arrival.
Despite the fact that Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku are likely to return to the squad following coronavirus, neither player is expected to be risked right away.
Mateo Kovacic might pair Jorginho in the center, with N’Golo Kante playing in a more forward role beside Mason Mount, now that Chelsea has additional midfielders available.
While Trevoh Chalobah is expected to start in the back three, Hakim Ziyech is a doubt owing to a calf injury, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kai Havertz are both expected to sit out due to the coronavirus.
Gerrard has not revealed which Villa players are expected to miss this game due to the same reasons, making it difficult to anticipate a starting team with any surety.
Marvelous Nakamba, Leon Bailey, and Bertrand Traore are the three confirmed absentees, all due to injury.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey; Buendia, Watkins, Young
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudgier; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Kante, Mount; Pulisic