Frank Lampard has confirmed that N'Golo Kanté and Antonio Rüdiger will miss Chelsea's Carabao Cup match against Manchester United on Wednesday.
The Blues are on a seven-game unbeaten run and enjoying significantly better form than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United, who have picked up just 10 points out of a possible 27 since their 4-0 win over Chelsea on the opening day of the season.
But the 41-year-old, who faced United 38 times during his playing career, stressed that the absence of Kanté and Rüdiger will open the door for academy players to be given a chance at senior level on Wednesday.
Chelsea's youngsters have already had the spotlight on them this season as Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori continue to impress in the Premier League and Champions League.
But fringe players like Billy Gilmour and Marc Guehi, who both started in the last round of the Carabao Cup against Grimsby, could now be drafted back into Chelsea's first team as they look to progress to the quarter-final stage of the competition.
The likes of Faustino Anjorin, Ian Maatsen and Jamie Cumming could also be included in Chelsea's matchday squad for the second time this season.
While Wednesday's match will give Chelsea's next batch of youngsters the chance to impress in senior football, Lampard will also have one eye on making up for his side's 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford at the start of the season.
Both clubs have seen their fortunes turn since the opening day, and Lampard insists that result won't have a bearing on their match at Stamford Bridge in midweek, while he added that the Carabao Cup is a competition that Chelsea want to take seriously this season.
"It is a competition we value, the whole squad not just the young boys," Lampard said via Chelsea's official Twitter account. "You can never take a day out at Wembley for granted. I will not take this game lightly even if I do make changes."