Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Chelsea will be without midfield duo Mateo Kovacic and N'Golo Kante against Manchester United.
Ben Chilwell has already been ruled out for the next six weeks following an anterior cruciate ligament injury, which Chelsea will assess until the New Year before making a decision over whether or not he will need surgery.
As the 24-year-old's absence on Sunday was confirmed, Tuchel delivered another double blow regarding Kovacic and Kante.
Kovacic has been out with a hamstring injury, while Kante came off in midweek against Juventus with a knee problem and it's expected to keep him out of the league clash this weekend.
"Kova is still out for the game on Sunday," confirmed Tuchel in his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon at Cobham.
"N’Golo twisted his knee a little bit and feels quite better since the game. Seems like he will be out for some days. It is a matter of days, one week maybe. We still have a little bit of hope but almost a miracle if he makes it so we think about a week."
Romelu Lukaku is not expected to start after Tuchel confirmed it was unlikely.
Tuchel added: "The possibility that he starts is not very high because we cannot be sure what happens in between matches. We have to find the balance between giving minutes and being absolute competitive for 90 minutes with the guys who play and start.”
No update was given on Kai Havertz who missed the Juventus victory with a hamstring injury.
As United sit 12 points behind the Blues, Tuchel knows it's never a good time to play the Red Devils.
"I don’t know if it is ever a good time to play against teams," continued the German. "That would mean we think we know or can predict something. You can see it either way. In the end, we will not lose too many minutes thinking about this. We will give all our energy and focus on our squad and what we want to do right.
"We only have one game with Michael Carrick in charge to focus on and analyse. Of course we have some individual behaviour and group behaviour that we think can be like, we can see as patterns and want to prepare our team for it. On the other side, it is always the best moment to play against Manchester United because we are up for the big challenges.
"We want to be out there and play on the highest level, to prove ourselves and prove a point. We just come from a tough match and there’s the next one. This is where we are and where we love to be. We get challenged on the highest level again on Sunday.”
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