Romelu Lukaku does not return to start for Chelsea against Aston Villa tonight after completing his Covid-19 isolation.
The £97.5million summer signing has not featured for Chelsea since their 3-2 win over Leeds on December 11.
Thomas Tuchel had also confirmed Callum Hudson-Odoi is available again and the winger does make the line-up.
“If I understood it correctly, we need a negative test and we have negative tests for Romelu, Callum and Ben Chilwell,” Tuchel said. “Ben Chilwell will not be involved against Aston Villa.
“The other two will be on the pitch tomorrow if they are again negative tomorrow. Then, we need to see, they have been ill and have symptoms but we will see.”
Chelsea’s recent poor form and the ground they have lost on their title rivals has persuaded Tuchel to play Lukaku from the start, especially with Kai Havertz and Timo Werner unavailable.
It was a much-changed side from Tuchel in midweek in the Carabao Cup against Brentford, but it is a more familiar side against Villa. Jorginho and N’Golo Kante come back to partner up in midfield, with Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger both also returning to the starting line-up.
Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard will not be in the dugout after testing positive for Covid.
Chelsea XI: Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso; Mount, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi.
Subs: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Sarr, Kovacic, Saul, Barkley, Lukaku, Ziyech.
When: Sunday, December 26, 5:30pm GMT
Venue: Villa Park
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Chelsea squad from: Mendy, Arrizabalaga, Bettinelli, James, Rudiger, Silva, Alonso, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Christensen, Sarr, Mount, Jorginho, Kovacic, Kante, Barkley, Saul, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Lukaku, Werner.
Injured: Chilwell (knee)
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