Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed new signing Nemanja Matic will not be afforded a second debut from the start during the weekend's eagerly-awaited encounter with Manchester United.
Matic rejoined the Blues from Benfica this week for a fee of €25 million having moved to Lisbon as part of the deal that saw David Luiz arrive at Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window of 2011.
The Serbia international appeared to be in contention to take a place in the Chelsea starting XI for the visit of Manchester United on Sunday, but Mourinho stated at a press conference that Matic can hope for a spot on the bench at best.
Mourinho claimed this decision had been taken out of respect for the rest of the Chelsea squad, who will welcome Frank Lampard back into the fold and perhaps immediately into the team.
Chelsea must hope Arsenal and Manchester City draw at best this weekend if the Blues are able to regain top spot in the Premier League, although this would appear unlikely given each have home games against relegation candidates Fulham and Cardiff, respectively.
Victory for Manchester United, meanwhile, will not even be enough for David Moyes' side to break into the top five. The Old Trafford club are five points shy of fifth placed Everton and 11 points behind leaders Arsenal.