Fernando Torres will miss this evening’s Champions League clash against Schalke with a leg injury.
The Spain international, who scored twice in the 3-0 win over the Bundesliga side in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge last month, is also set to miss Saturday’s game with West Bromwich Albion.
Ryan Bertrand is also unavailable; along with long term absentee Marco Van Ginkel.
Three points for Jose Mourinho’s men will see them tighten their grip on top spot, with third place Basel hosting Steaua Beucharest in Group E’s other game.
Meanwhile, Napoli have joined Chelsea in the race to secure the services of Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic, TalkSport understands.
Former Blues’ interim manager Rafael Benitez, who took the reins at the Serie A club in the summer, is keen to bolster his midfield options in January with moves for Javier Mascherano and Lucas Leiva also mooted.
Matic made three appearances for Chelsea before being used as a makeweight in the deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge in 2011.
Elsewhere, Mark Schwarzer has announced his retirement from international football.
The veteran goalkeeper is Australia’s most capped player having made 109 appearances since his debut – World Cup qualifier against Canada in 1993.