Brian Laws could be without first choice midfielders Graham Alexander and Chris McCann for his first match in charge of Burnley at Turf Moor.

It’s over two years since Burnley started a league match without Alexander while Chris McCann only made his return from a long-term knee injury on Tuesday night in the 1-0 defeat at Bolton.

The Clarets are yet to play at home this year and will welcome the opportunity to get back to the ground at which they have collected all but one of their league points.

Andre Bikey could return to the side after African Nations Cup duty with Cameroon while new signing Danny Fox is ineligible.

Stephen Jordan may be fit to replace Christian Kalvenes at left-back while David Nugent has returned to parent club Portsmouth after his loan spell came to an end.

Leon Cort is expected to come straight into the Burnley side with Clarke Carlisle or Michael Duff to drop to the bench.

Laws may rejig his strikeforce after Nugent, Steven Fletcher, Steven Thompson, Martin Paterson and loan signing Frederic Nimani all failed to score in the last three games. Robbie Blake could be set for a recall to the starting line-up while Wade Elliott’s place is in danger after a string of poor performances.

Chelsea are still without Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba, althiough their form without the pair has not exactly dipped.

Nicolas Anelka has been playeing superbly, revelling in the lone striker role, and he will again play up front today, with support from Florent Malouda and Joe Cole.

Michael Essien is injured so Deco will anchor the midfield if he is fit as John Obi Mikel is still on African Nations Cup duty. Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack will also start in midfield.

John Terry and Ashley Cole will both start despite featuring in trashy tabloid stories over the last few days – Terry over rumours of infidelity and Cole for being caught speeding.

Chelsea’s away form has been patchy of late with no wins in their last three trips and only two victories from their last seven away from home.

But Burnley are without a league win since October and crashed out of the FA Cup to Championship strugglers Reading last week.

Although Burnley have only lost once at home all season, Chelsea will be keen to keep up the pressure on league leaders Manchester United. Unless there is a vast improvement from Burnley’s last two performances, a thrashing seems to be on the cards.

Prediction: Burnley 0-4 Chelsea.