Several of Chelsea's current young hopefuls look likely to be given a chance to stake their claim for a regular first-team berth this week, with manager Antonio Conte set to field a much-changed, youthful side for Wednesday night's (20 September) visit of Championship outfit Nottingham Forest to Stamford Bridge.
The 10-man defending Premier League champions were held to a disappointing goalless draw by Arsenal at the weekend - a result that ended an impressive run of four consecutive victories across all competitions that followed a shock opening-day loss to Burnley.
Like many of their title rivals, Chelsea look set to use a midweek appointment in the third round of the Carabao Cup as a chance to rotate their squad after playing three games in the space of just over a week.
"When you have to play a lot of games and have just a few days to recover, it is normal to rotate," Conte was quoted as saying by the Evening Standard.
"I think it is a good opportunity to see the young players that are training with us. They deserve to have an opportunity and I hope to take it."
Conte had already suggested that key playmaker Eden Hazard, who has appeared as a substitute in each of Chelsea's last three matches against Leicester City, FK Qarabag and Arsenal, would start against Forest as he looks to complete his recovery from surgery on a broken ankle sustained while on international duty with Belgium back in June.
David Luiz is suspended for the clash with Mark Warburton's side after being dismissed for a dangerous late challenge on Gunners defender Sead Kolasinac and it appears very much as if it will be 21-year-old Andreas Christensen - and not £29m ($39.2m) summer arrival Antonio Rudiger - who continues to deputise for the erratic Brazilian.
Pedro is also likely to be absent due to an ankle knock sustained against Arsenal, although Conte hopes the issue is nothing serious and that the former Barcelona forward will be fit for Chelsea's next top-flight meeting with Stoke City on Saturday.
Deadline day signing Danny Drinkwater, meanwhile, could have to wait another month to make his Blues debut due to a calf muscle issue that has followed on from a thigh strain that prevented him from featuring for former employers Leicester throughout August.
The highly-rated Christensen aside, no youngsters have made Conte's matchday squad so far this month. However, the likes of Charly Musonda, Kenedy and Kyle Scott were all included during the embryonic stages of the new campaign as Chelsea battled injury problems amid slow progress on the transfer front and will be among those hoping to be given the nod against Forest.
Three-time FA Youth Cup winning centre-back Jake Clarke-Salter, who was promoted to the first-team squad over the summer after signing a new four-year contract in the aftermath of an injury-affected loan stint at Bristol Rovers, may also be in contention.