Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from their derby defeat to West Ham when they travel to Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night.
Antonio Conte’s side have not faced the Terriers in a league encounter for more than 30 years, but they desperately need a result at the John Smith’s Stadium – a venue which has already seen Manchester United come unstuck this season.
David Wagner’s side were promoted through the Championship play-offs last term and were always fully aware that they faced a battle to retain a standing among the Premier League elite. The club’s home form has, however, helped to see them take up a position in mid-table, five points clear of the drop zone.
Alvaro Morata is out after suffering a back injury, while also tiring after playing in five successive games. Chelsea’s top scorer with 10 goals will not travel to West Yorkshire for the match.
David Luiz is Chelsea’s main injury concern as he recovers from an inflamation of the right knee. The injury is a flare up of a long standing issue that saw him play with strapping last season.
Danny Drinkwater missed the last game away to West Ham United with a virus, but he is be back to face Huddersfield.
Michy Batshuayi recently made his return against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, while Charly Musonda and Kenedy returned to play for the Development Squad against MK Dons last Wednesday in a 4-0 win.
Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rudiger are one domestic booking away from a ban, but Chelsea have no players currently suspended. David Luiz is on three bookings.
The cut-off for suspensions regarding the accumulation of yellow cards is after 19 league games. Chelsea players need to avoid picking up five bookings until after they play Everton on December 23.
POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Conte will continuously rotate his squad with the club having two games per week until January. Pedro, Drinkwater, Willian and Rudiger were among those left out for the Atletico Madrid and West Ham games, but some of them may return at Huddersfield.
Chelsea put out a near full strength side against West Ham, but rested Victor Moses who will likely return for the midweek clash. Morata and Hazard have emerged as the first choice partnership up front, but they will be broken up with the former ruled out.
Conte says he now considers winning the Premier League title to be “impossible”, with Manchester City opening up a 14-point lead over the champions. However, the Blues still want to win to stake a claim for a top-four spot.
HUDDERSFIELD TEAM NEWS
Chelsea loanee Kasey Palmer is ineligible to play against his parent club due to the terms of his transfer arrangement. Michael Hefele has been out for a number of weeks and his return date remains unknown.
Jon Gorenc Stankovic is out with a torn cruciate ligament while Philip Billing is also out with an ankle injury. The rest of Wagner’s squad is thought to be fit to play as they welcome the champions.
TV CHANNEL & KICK OFF TIME
The match is on at 19:45 GMT on Tuesday and it will be shown live in the UK on BT Sport. The highlights will then be shown on BBC’s Match of the Day the following day.
In the United States (US), Huddersfield v Chelsea can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
This will be the first top-flight meeting between these sides since January 1972, which finished in a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea won both meetings with Huddersfield the last time they faced off in league competition, en-route to winning the 1983-84 second tier.
Chelsea have already dropped 16 points in their 16 Premier League games this season – they only dropped 21 in the whole of 2016-17 in the competition (winning 93/114).
Huddersfield have won three of their last four home games in the Premier League, with the only defeat in this run coming against first-placed Manchester City.
Eden Hazard has been involved in 99 Premier League goals for Chelsea (62 goals, 37 assists) – he would be the fourth Chelsea player to reach a century of goal involvements in the Premier League after Frank Lampard (237), Didier Drogba (159) and Gianfranco Zola (101).