JEFFREY Bruma has been handed his first Premier League start by Carlo Ancelotti for Chelsea's clash with struggling Aston Villa on Sunday.
Serbian centre-half Branislav Ivanovic picked up his fifth booking of the season in midweek and will miss the match at Stamford Bridge as he serves a one-game suspension.
And with a gaping hole to fill in the heart of the Blues' defence, Ancelotti has put his faith in the 19-year-old Dutchman by giving him the nod ahead of the more experienced Paulo Ferreira and Michael Essien.
“It is the time that we can use Bruma,” confirmed the Chelsea boss.
“He is a very good defender. He has a lot of ability, he has played some games and in this time he is improving. He works very closely with John Terry, Ivanovic and Alex and it is the time to put him in.”
Bruma has only started two games in his Chelsea career, one in the Champions League and the other in the Carling Cup.
However, Ancelotti insists having skipper John Terry alongside Bruma will help the youngster to cope with the pace of Premier League football.
He added: “For Bruma it will be fantastic support to have Terry alongside. He trained very well, but with John Terry it will be easier to move.”
John Obi Mikel will miss out with a knee ligament strain picked up in the defeat to Arsenal expected to keep the midfielder on the sidelines for three weeks.
While Daniel Sturridge , who has missed the last two games with a knee injury, has returned to training but will not feature on Sunday.