Chelsea's woes are set to double after Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic limped out midway through Serbia's win over Albania in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Thursday (8 October) night. The Premier League champions have had a disastrous start to the 2015/16 campaign, which sees them sit just above the relegation places in 16th with eight points from as many games. The injury to the duo will be cause for further concern for Jose Mourinho, who is under increasing pressure to turn things around at Stamford Bridge.
According to the Mirror, Ivanovic limped out in the 65th minute of the game with a suspected hamstring injury, and Matic followed suit eight minutes later with a similar complaint. The loss of the defensive duo will come as a big blow to the Portuguese manager, who has already seen his team ship in 17 goals in eight Premier League games, which is more than half of what they conceded in the entirety of last season.
Ivanovic has been one of the most consistent performers for Chelsea, and has played a key role in their successes in recent times. This season, however, the Serbian international has been criticised for constantly being under par, which has contributed to the Blues' poor start to their title defence. It is a similar situation with teammate Matic, who after a brilliant 2014/15 campaign, which saw him form a strong partnership with Cesc Fabregas, has struggled for form this season and has been dropped from the starting XI on a couple of occasions.
Chelsea welcomes fellow strugglers Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge following the ongoing international break, and with the reigning champions 10 points behind league leaders Manchester City, it is a game Mourinho cannot afford to lose.