Chelsea will have to do without Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante as they pursue a 12th-consecutive Premier League victory when Bournemouth travel to Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.
The league leaders will be without their leading goalscorer and midfield anchor for the visit of the Cherries, with both players serving a one-game ban for their fifth yellow cards of the season in last Saturday’s victory at Crystal Palace.
Costa’s 13th goal of the season earned the Blues a hard-fought victory at Selhurst Park and moved Antonio Conte’s men six points clear at the top of the table after a club record-equalling 11th successive league win.
Chelsea are just two victories away from equalling the Premier League’s all-time winning streak record, but Bournemouth left Stamford Bridge with all three points last season.
Eddie Howe’s men head to west London looking to extend an impressive Boxing Day record, with the Cherries unbeaten in each of their last six league games played on December 26 (W4 D2 L0), conceding just one goal in the process.
Chelsea could turn to Michy Batshuayi to replace Costa or switch from the 3-4-3 formation which has underpinned their winning run.
Club captain John Terry remains out with a gluteal strain.
Howe will not be able to play on-loan Chelsea defender Nathan Ake, who is not eligible for selection against his parent club.
However the Cherries could be boosted by the possibel return of midfield duo Junior Stanislas (ankle) and Andrew Surman (hamstring), who have an outside chance of playing.