Chelsea could be forced into employing 18 year old Nathan Ake at left back for their Europa League second leg against Rubin Kazan after both Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand failed to travel to Russia.

Cole picked up a hamstring injury in the FA Cup quarter final win over Manchester United on easter Monday and missed the Premier League win over Sunderland, while Bertrand hasn't travelled to Kazan through illness.

The double blow coupled with the loss of Gary Cahill for two weeks after the England international underwent knee surgery, leaves Chelsea short at the back ahead of the second leg as well as the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.

Nathan Ake
Ake is set to deputise for Cole and Bertrand.

"Cahill underwent a minor meniscus operation," a Chelsea statement read.

"Cole, meanwhile, is still recovering from a hamstring problem picked up in the 1-0 FA Cup win over Manchester United.

"Ryan Bertrand has also stayed at home having missed the last couple of days of training with a virus."

Benitez looks set to turn to Nextgen star Ake to fill in at left-back for the tie, in which Chelsea defend a 3-1 lead given to them by a Fernando Torres double and Victor Moses' goal at Stamford Bridge.

Ake made his professional debut against Norwich City in the Premier League last December before his first start came in the FA Cup win at Middlesbrough.

He played a crucial role in the Nextgen side which reached the final, eventually losing to Aston Villa, but mainly as a central midfielder. Thus the youngster would be forced to play out of position on his European debut in an intimidating atmosphere in central Russia.

While Cahill will miss the next fortnight after surgery, the length of absence for Cole and Bertrand is yet unknown. However the pair's omission from the squad which travels for the Europa League second leg could be as a precaution ahead of the club's FA Cup and Premier League campaign.

Chelsea occupy third place in the Premier League but are level on points with Tottenham Hotspur and just two points clear of fifth place Arsenal with seven games to play as the race for Champions League qualification reaches the sharp end.