The Belgian center back and club captain has not yet recovered from a thigh injury but Jose Mourinho welcomes defender Ashley Cole back into his first-team plans.Chelsea entertains Manchester City on Sunday in one of the most mouth-watering Premier League games of the season so far.
Jose Mourinho's side has won all four of its top-flight games at Stamford Bridge this term, scoring 10 goals in the process, but 2011-12 champion City is unbeaten in its last five outings against the London club in all competitions, winning four of those encounters.
Former Real Madrid boss Mourinho avoided a touch-line ban in the lead up to this match but was fined by the Football Association for improper conduct during Chelsea's 4-1 victory over Cardiff City.
|THE DOSSIER: CHELSEA v MAN CITY
|ANALYSIS: OSCAR HOLDS THE KEY|
That form has helped Mourinho's side to joint second in the table, just two points behind league leader Arsenal and one better off than City.
The home side will be boosted by the return of England left back Ashley Cole following a rib injury, with long-term absentee Marco van Ginkel the team's only sidelined player.
Fernando Torres will be hoping to have done enough to keep his place in Mourinho's starting XI after scoring twice in Tuesday night's 3-0 Champions League win at Schalke, although fellow forward Samuel Eto'o could be in line for a recall after bagging his first Chelsea goal against Cardiff.
City, meanwhile, heads to Stamford Bridge on the back of a 2-1 Champions League victory against CSKA Moscow in the Russian capital on Wednesday. That victory was overshadowed by midfielder Yaya Toure allegedly being the subject of racist abuse and UEFA has launched an investigation into the matter.
Manuel Pellegrini's side - which is the Premier League's top scorer with 20 goals in eight games - has won its last three fixtures in all competitions but midfielder Samir Nasri knows that the club faces a stern test in the capital.
"Winning at West Ham and CSKA means we will go into this game with a lot more confidence," the Frenchman told the club's official website. "It was important we started winning away in the Premier League but we know Chelsea won't be an easy game.
"I think they are more complete than they were last season - they are always a threat, especially on their own pitch and, with Jose Mourinho returning, that's even more the case so we will have to be at our best if we are to get a good result."
City skipper Vincent Kompany is not yet available to return to the squad due to the thigh injury that he picked up in the 3-1 win over Everton earlier in October but Pellegrini has no other absences to contend with.
Argentine striker Sergio Aguero is in fine form ahead of the game, having scored five goals in his last three outings in all competitions.