Going into the first weekend of the season and the Blues are faced with a striking problem, as Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge are both set to miss out.
Torres suffered concussion against Italy on Wednesday, players have to rest for a week after any head injuries. Sturridge who has impressed during pre-season is starting his three-match ban, following his sending off in the last game of the season whilst on loan at Bolton.
The game has come too soon for Romelu Lukaku, who is waiting to finalize his transfer to Stamford Bridge.
The news means that the Blues are likely to give Didier Drogba a starting birth down the middle, with Nicolas Anelka playing on the right and Florent Malouda on the left.
By Scott Balaam