Ashley Cole will start Monday night’s London derby from the bench as Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho favours Spaniard Cesar Azpliquerta ahead of the Englishman against Arsenal.
John Terry could partner Luiz or Garry Cahill but Branislav Ivanovic will surely be on the right-back, according to the manager.
The Blues could go top of the League standing with victory against leaders Arsenal at the Emirate Stadium.
The Portuguese boss is optimistic his side will bounce back from Tuesday night’s League Cup disappointment against Sunderland and believes the encounter will be a “good match” for the fans.
“My memories of games against Arsenal are that we’ve played good matches and because of that have got good results,” he said at his pre-match conference on Friday.
Mourinho had earlier hit out at his team’s lack of goal scoring threat and defensive frailties as the Stamford Bridge club blew away a host of opportunities to finish off their midweek game, allowing the ‘Black Cats’ to strike late on and progress into the semi-final of the Capital One Cup.
He urged his strikers to start taking their chances and expects all to defend very well as a team, if the Blues want to go into Christmas sitting top of the league standing.
“Every match we are dominant. This is the responsibility from the players, when the team loses the ball for people to change their brains a little bit more,” added Mourinho.
“To be a team that plays very good football and wins loads of matches is a more difficult step.
“That step is only possible when the team defends very well when they lose the ball.”
Cole, who turned 33 on Friday, made his way back on the headlines on Thursday, following his Wednesday night-out at Arsenal’s Christmas bash in London.
Many had been left guessing on the ‘Blues’ boss’ reaction to the incident, after cancelling Chelsea Players’ own bash, which was planed for the same venue, the same day.
When quizzed on Cole’s escapade with rival teammates at the Christmas Bash, Mourinho added: “I have an opinion I keep for myself. It was a free day for them, I am not a father, I am a manager. I cannot control what they do when they are not with me.
“I don;t want to comment. Not even to Ashley Cole, I gave my opinion because I don’t have to. It was his free night, we don’t train the next morning.”