Nottingham Forest will face up to some of the best players in the country on Saturday as they travel to Chelsea in the third round of the FA Cup.
Maurizio Sarri’s men were held to a goalless draw by Southampton on Wednesday night and are fourth in the Premier League standings.
However, they are facing a mounting fixture and injury list which could make their line-up against Forest in Saturday’s cup tie somewhat unpredictable, with Cesc Fabregas and Olivier Giroud among those at risk of not being fit to face Aitor Karanka’s troops.
Sarri said: “We are in trouble because, in January, we have to play every three days.
“Fabregas’s injury is a neck problem. The injury was in the last five minutes of training, so I’m not sure whether he has to rest for two or ten days.”
Giroud has an ankle injury while Ruben Loftus-Cheek (back), Pedro (hamstring) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (hamstring) are also doubtful.
Eden Hazard could well be in line to start the encounter as Forest aim to fare better than when the two sides last met, the Reds going down 5-1 at Stamford Bridge last season in the League Cup.
Forest last beat Chelsea back in 1997 at the City Ground, a 2-0 win secured thanks to goals in each half from Stuart Pearce and Chris Bart-Williams.