Cesc Fabregas could miss Aston Villa and Everton matches

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Cesc Fabregas could miss Chelsea’s next two fixtures against Aston Villa and Everton with a hamstring injury, paving the way for £26.8 million winter signing Juan Cuadrado to make his Blues’ debut.

The Telegraph understand that Fabregas is a serious doubt for the two matches, which take place on Saturday and Wednesday, after sitting out of last weekend’s 1-1 draw against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

The news comes as a major blow for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who is already without star striker Diego Costa for the next two matches. The Spain international is currently serving a three-match ban after being found guilty of stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can during last week’s Capital One Cup semi-final.

Chelsea expected to beat Villa

Even without Costa and Fabregas - who have scored 19 Premier League goals and contributed 17 assists between them so far this season - league-leaders Chelsea will be expected to see off relegation-threatened Aston Villa this weekend.

Villa have not won a Premier League match since December 7, but did manage to beat Chelsea the last time they went head-to-head with Mourinho’s side at Villa Park, back in March.

Cuadrado set for debut

This weekend is likely to offer Chelsea fans a first chance to watch Cuadrado in action.

The 26-year-old Colombia international completed his big-money move from Fiorentina on transfer deadline day and has since been training with his new teammates.

Although Cuadrado is not a similar player to Fabregas - he plays from the wing, rather than in central midfield - the South American will be expected to fill the void left by the Spain international in terms of contributing goals and assists.

Can Cuadrado keep Chelsea on top?

He’s certainly capable of doing just that. Last season he scored 15 goals in 43 appearances for Fiorentina, while he netted six in 23 earlier this term, prior to his move to Chelsea.

The Blues currently possess a healthy five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, but could be leapfrogged by Manchester City by the end of play on Wednesday night unless they pick up points against both Villa and Everton.

Will Cuadrado make an instant impact at Stamford Bridge? Have your say in the comments below.

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Francesc Fabregas
Premier League
Juan Cuadrado
Juan Cuadrado
Aston Villa

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