Rafael Benítez has admitted he could not guarantee John Terry would be fit for Chelsea's Christmas fixtures.
Terry's recovery from knee surgery is proving more problematic than first thought and he will definitely miss Sunday's Premier League game against Aston Villa.
Ramires, John Obi Mikel and Gary Cahill all return from suspension, Daniel Sturridge is available for selection after his hamstring injury, but Ryan Bertrand is doubtful after being forced off in Wednesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final at Leeds.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland is available.
The Republic of Ireland international missed the 3-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield last weekend through illness.
But skipper and central defender Ron Vlaar and striker Gabriel Agbonlahor remain major doubts with calf and thigh problems respectively.
Match NotesChelsea showed few signs of fatigue from their trip to Japan for the Club World Cup in dispatching Leeds United on Wednesday night but Aston Villa will provide a far sterner test of their squad’s depth and recovery.
Villa go into the match unbeaten in six matches, reaching their peak with the surprise 3-1 defeat of Liverpool last week and look well capable of inflicting another dent to Chelsea’s fading title hopes.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Moses, Mata, Hazard; Torres.Out: Romeu (knee), Terry (knee), Mikel (suspended).Tests: Bertrand (unspecified).
Aston Villa (4-4-1-1): Guzan; Baker, Herd, Clark, Lichaj; Lowton, Bannan, Holman, Westwood, Weimann; Benteke.Out: Bent (groin), Gardner (knee), Dunne (groin), Petrov (illness).Tests: Vlaar (calf), Agbonlahor (thigh).
Prediction: Chelsea 1 Aston Villa 1
Where To Watch:
Location: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 16.00 GMT.
TV: Live Sky Sports 1, Highlights, BBC ONE Match of the Day2.
Where To Watch Online: Chelsea vs. Aston Villa