Antonio Conte has suggested that youngsters Kyle Scott and Ethan Ampadu could get a chance in the first team because of Chelsea’s injury problems.
The champions’ midfield options are limited, with N’Golo Kante expected to be sidelined during a busy few weeks in which Chelsea face seven matches.
Summer signing Danny Drinkwater is still currently unavailable as he continues to recover from a calf problem.
Tiémoué Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas are therefore set to link up in midfield, but Blues boss Conte says he might need to make changes during the coming weeks.
That could mean a chance is given to 19-year-old academy product Scott, who has yet to make a first-team appearance, or the highly-rated Ampadu, who was signed from Exeter in the summer.
Conte explained: “Now we only have Bakayoko and Fabregas available. We have to approach seven games in one month and for this reason we have to find different solutions and adapt some defenders as a midfielder or give opportunities to young players like Scott to play.
“It will be very difficult to play with Bakayoko and Fabregas for seven games in a row – and also we have to hope we have no (further) injuries in these games.”
Another option for Conte would be to move David Luiz into midfield, but the Italian appears to be reluctant to do so.
“We are talking about a player who is very important for me,” Conte said.
“David is one of our best central defenders. I prefer not to change a lot. You try to find the best solution and you lose something with the defence.
“I decided to utilise him in midfield against Tottenham when we played with three central midfielders. It could be an option if I decide to play with three midfielders.
“But I don’t want to change a lot. If it is necessary then I am ready to do this, but also to give opportunities to young players like Ampadu or Scott.”