Pascal Gross has been ruled out for Brighton ahead of the Chelsea clash (Photo: GETTY)
De Zerbi is likely to make a host of changes once more as the Italian juggles his squad to cope with the demands of Premier League, Europa League and Carabao Cup football.
Brighton are going along nicely in the league so and last Sunday's 3-1 win against Bournemouth moved them up to third with five wins from their first six top flight matches.
De Zerbi said: "We have big respect for Chelsea. They have a great squad.
The Paraguay playmaker is set for another three months on the sidelines with a knee injury sustained earlier this season at Wolves (Photo: Clive Mason)
“It will be a very tough game. We have to organise and play better than we did in the last game because in the first half (against Bournemouth) it was not very clear.
“We need the best condition of the players if we want to compete every three days. We have to change the XI and take the best decisions game-by-game.”
Here’s the players ruled-out and those who are doubtful... The Chelsea game will likely arrive too soon. The Poland international has not played for a year with a ACL issue but is now starting to make really encouraging progress. (Photo: Warren Little) The former Liverpool man has been ruled-out with a minor issue. Also a doubt for the Villa match on Saturday (Photo: Mike Hewitt) The experienced German has an unspecified muscular issue and will not play at Stamford Bridge. (Photo: Alex Pantling) The teenage striker has struggled with a knee issue and illness of late. Looked off the pace in the first half against Bournemouth and De Zerbi said he will make a late call on the teenage striker (Photo: Eddie Keogh) Played against Bournemouth but two games in quick succession maybe too much for the defender who has struggled with calf, hamstring and hip issues (Photo: Charlie Crowhurst) Missed the AEK match with a muscle injury and was patched up to face Bournemouth. Will likely rest for this one at Chelsea and prepare to face Villa on Saturday (Photo: Eddie Keogh) De Zerbi is managing his minutes. Missed the United game, played 90 minutes against AEK and then missed Bournemouth. May sit this one out ahead of Villa. (Photo: Mike Hewitt)