Chelsea will be looking for a back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since November when they face Southampton on Boxing Day.
The Blues have won just two of their past six games but their most recent performance led to a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Thursday, 26 December 2019
Kick-off: 6:00 PM
Kovacic on Thursday picked up his fifth yellow card of the season for an altercation with Dele Alli.
Cesar Azpilicueta picked up a slight thigh injury but may be rested anyway with the festive fixture list bringing games thick and fast. Reece James could return at right-back.
Marco van Ginkel and Ruben Loftus-Cheek remain long-term absentees.
Predicted XI: Kepa; James, Tomori, Zouma, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Mount; Pulisic, Batshuayi, Hudson-Odoi.
Kevin Danso is expected to return after missing the weekend’s game with illness, while Moussa Djenepo is a doubt with a thigh injury.
Oriol Romeu could return having made a substitute appearance at the weekend, while Michael Obafemi could also be rotated in.
Yan Valery remains out long-term.
Predicted XI: McCarthy; Cedric, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg; Redmond; Ings, Obafemi.
06 October 2019: Southampton 1-4 Chelsea (Premier League)
02 January 2019: Chelsea 0-0 Southampton (Premier League)
07 October 2018: Southampton 0-3 Chelsea (Premier League)
22 April 2018: Chelsea 2-0 Southampton (FA Cup)
14 April 2018: Southampton 2-3 Chelsea (Premier League)