Antonio Conte has been dealt a blow with the news that John Terry has not recovered from his ankle injury in time to face Arsenal on Saturday.
Chelsea will travel to the Emirates Stadium looking to atone for the 2-1 loss against Liverpool in their last Premier League fixture.
Arsenal have failed to score in any of their last six matches against their London rivals, but will be feeling more confident with the Blues missing their skipper.
“John is working but he didn’t recover for the game against Arsenal,” Chelsea boss Conte said.
“In this case it is important (to listen to) what the player feels and the pain he is in. We have three central defenders and it is normal to make a choice.
“It is a big game between two big rivals and it is important to play a good game. We know we face a good team.”
Gary Cahill and David Luiz are now expected to start at centre-back, although Conte has a decision to make on whether to recall Branislav Ivanovic or stick with Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta at full-back following the midweek victory at Leicester in the League Cup.
“When we concede a goal, all the team concede a goal, not only the defenders,” Conte added.
“It means we must work together to improve the defensive situation. This problem was already there last season because Chelsea conceded 55 goals.
“We must work a lot on this aspect because if you want to think for a great championship you mustn’t concede so many goals.”