Thomas Tuchel could be forced into making changes to his Chelsea side when a beleaguered Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante were both forced off during the 4-0 thumping of Juventus in midweek with knee injuries, one looking more serious than the other.
Kante was able to walk off under his own steam midway through the first half to be replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Chilwell however was barely able to put any weight on his leg as he was helped down the tunnel by two of Chelsea’s medical staff.
Those two are almost certainly doubts for the visit of United to the capital this weekend and they could be two of a number of changes Tuchel could make for the return to Premier League action.
The logical replacement for Chilwell would be Marcos Alonso, who started the season as the first choice left wing-back and enjoyed a strong beginning to the campaign before tailing off and eventually replaced by Chilwell.
The former Leicester man netted in four straight games for club and country and has been a huge part of the success of Tuchel’s wing-back season as Chelsea have gone nine games without defeat in all competitions.
Cesar Azpilicueta entered the fray for Chelsea in midweek after Chilwell’s injury but Tuchel admitted he had made an error when essentially panicking to get the Blues back up to their full complement of players.
In midfield, Kante’s injury didn’t look as serious as Chilwell’s but it is another problem the Frenchman has sustained, his third injury this season.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek came in to replace him during the first half of Tuesday’s victory and is the outstanding candidate to start against United if Kante doesn’t make the line up, with Mateo Kovacic still out injured and Saul Niguez not in favour.
The rest of the defence picks itself on current form with Reece James, Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah all in form and keeping up the Blues’ very impressive defensive record.
A decision Tuchel might have to make could be in his front three. Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic all started the Juventus win.
Kai Havertz was ruled out through injury, while Timo Werner returned to action after five weeks off the substitutes bench.
Romelu Lukaku was also included on the subs bench but wasn’t needed as the Blues cruised to a 4-0 win. He too has been out for five weeks injured.
The Belgian joined in with the post-match warm down for the unused subs in midweek and looked to be moving very freely.
Tuchel won’t want to rush either back too quickly to the first team fold, especially with Chelsea playing so well. Hudson-Odoi certainly doesn’t deserve to lose his place having started seven straight Blues games, the longest run of his career in west London.
Werner scored in midweek with practically the last kick of the game and could be pushing for a start though in place of Pulisic, who wasn’t as effective in the false nine as might have been hoped but he too was making his first start for the club after a long injury.