Chelsea face a big night in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, when they head to the Mestalla Stadium to take on Valencia, but they will be without three first-team regulars.
The Blues started their campaign against the La Liga side back in September, a night in which they were the better team and dominant for most of it, but ultimately came away with nothing to show for their efforts.
To give Chelsea credit, they have bounced back in style and now sit in a three-way logjam on seven points in the group, with a home match against Lille to come next month.
That means the Blues will secure their progression to the knockout stages should they come out on top in Spain, but at the same time, the contest is one they can ill afford to lose if they want to keep their destiny in their own hands.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will be forced to go into battle without three key men due to injury however, with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Antonio Rudiger and Ross Barkley all missing for the Stamford Bridge outfit, as confirmed by the former England star when he touched down in the Spanish city.
“Callum Hudson-Odoi is not available. He has been getting better through the week so hopefully he will be for the weekend.” The Blues official website quote him as saying.
‘Toni Rudiger thankfully now we’re talking match fitness as opposed to the injury itself. He is training hard and it will be more days and weeks as opposed to months as it has been.’
‘All Ross needs to do now, he’s had an injury which he is still kind of carrying, he has to work his way back in. He has to train well and I certainly don’t hold anything against my players. I like Ross, and I think it is something where he needs to show all his reactions on the pitch.’
Chelsea have won both matches on their travels in their group so far. If they make that three in Valencia, they will seal a pretty emphatic qualification, given the odds that have been stacked against them this term.