As John Terry was stretchered from the Vicente Calderón, the Blue's captain looked as frail as Chelsea's Premier League title hopes.
While a 0-0 draw against the La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid bolstered José Mourinho's hopes of progressing towards a Champions League final, it also left his dream of reclaiming the domestic league crown in tatters.
As well as Terry, who sustained a foot injury, Mourinho will take his side to Anfield for their crunch match against league leaders Liverpool without Petr Cech, who was substituted after dislocating his shoulder.
The defensive pair are joined by attacking duo Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto'o, who are expected to be rested for the clash ahead of the second leg against Atlético on Wednesday.
The fitness of Hazard and Eto'o is a moot point for Mourinho, who believes the Premier League does not sufficiently back it's sides in Europe by concocting a debilitating fixture pile-up for teams who make it to the latter stages of the continent's premier competition.
He argues, justifiably perhaps, that Spain affords its top sides more time to prepare for the knockout stages of the Champions League and that his assault on the league has been hindered by having to travel to Anfield three days before Atlético visit west London.
Terry's absence means Chelsea's defence will be shuffled to include the returning Branislav Ivanovic, who may force Ashley Cole back to the substitutes bench if David Luiz partners Gary Cahill in central defence.
The Serbian's return, of course, adds to the likelihood that he and Luis Suarez will once again tangle in front of the Kop, after the Uruguayan was caught biting his arm in the same fixture last season.
But if Mourinho's hand has been severely weakened, Brendan Rogers grasp on Liverpool's first league title for 24 years may have tightened.
The Reds are now in pole position to not only overcome Chelsea on Sunday but clinch the title ahead of Manchester City, whose own defeat at Anfield and draw at home to Sunderland has threatened to derail their season.
Take three points on Sunday and Brendan Rodgers' side will be nine points clear of Manuel Pelligrini's team, who face a rejuvenated Crystal Palace later that day.
If a depleted Chelsea and a beleaguered City both drop points, Liverpool can start to party like it is 1990.