Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that Cesc Fabregas is winning his battle to be fit for a midweek Premier League showdown against Everton, after missing their last two matches with a hamstring injury.
Fabregas pulled up with the problem in last month's Capital One Cup semi-final at home to Liverpool, a recurring issue that has forced Mourinho to be cautious with the Spanish playmaker in recent weeks.
Mourinho was asked about his midfield pass master following last weekend's 2-1 win over Aston Villa and gave Blues fans good news, Fabregas should be ready to feature when the Toffees visit West London on Wednesday if required.
Mourinho sees Cesc as influential
In his post-match address at Villa Park the Blues boss told the Daily Star: "I think he plays Wednesday. Today was a decision in the limits to protect him. We didn't want to risk two players at the same time.
"Fabregas gives a lot of stability to the team. The player who is suspended [Diego Costa] is a very important player for us. I'm happy because it is an important victory for us, without important players in our team."
Chelsea's title charge keeps on rolling
Mourinho's decision not to risk Fabregas when far from 100% fit against either Manchester City or Villa is understandable when you consider the ex-Arsenal captain's impact in his first season at Stamford Bridge.
Fabregas has 15 assists in the Premier League this season in 21 matches, a statistic which looks even more remarkable when you consider his nearest challengers Leighton Baines and Gylfi Sigurdsson have just eight.
Chelsea have been without another star summer signing in Diego Costa for their last two games, but thanks to some inconsistency from defending champions Manchester City have managed to extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points regardless.
With that in mind it remains to be seen whether Mourinho will decided to recall Fabregas on Wednesday, although the prospect six days without a match after that fixture may help make up his mind.
Ramires was used alongside Nemanja Matic against both City and Villa, but don't be at all surprised if Fabregas returns for a game which could potentially help Chelsea open up a whopping 10-point gap at the top of the table if results go their way.