ANDRE Villas-Boas has hinted he is likely to rest some of his first-teamers against Genk to ensure fresh legs for Sunday's derby against QPR.
The Chelsea boss, who rested John Terry and Frank Lampard on matchday one in the Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen can afford to risk a slightly under-strength side for what, on paper, is the easiest of the six group games.
The Belgians, who have one point from their opening two games are also weakened by injury to several players, although they have 20-year midfielder Kevin De Bruyne in the ranks – a player Chelsea have made no secret of monitoring.
“The most important thing for us is that we are aware of the amount of talent we have at our disposal,” said Villas-Boas, who brought a cake to the training ground on Monday to celebrate his 34 th birthday.
“Any 11 that we put across is a very strong 11 and we have a very strong 18, so this puts us in a position of comfort to have always good rest and play periods – and that might happen [because of] the Queens Park Rangers game.
“Gent are going through a period of a tremendous amount of injuries, which is unfortunate for them and the departure of a couple of talented players has made things difficult for them.
“But they can still create difficulties for us and we just have to be aware and concentrated for the 90 minutes.”
Ramires is a non-starter because of a leg injury and is rated no better than 50-50 for Loftus Road at the weekend, but Fernando Torres may get a start – having had to sit out Premier League games while under suspension.
The Blues will be defending an eight-year unbeaten run on home soil in Champions League group games – a run dating back to a defeat by Besiktas 24 games ago.
Villas-Boas believes his team are now on a good roll and feels his team have developed greater fluency since last month's win at Sunderland, which he expects to carry over to tomorrow night.
“I think the most important thing for us was to progress from the first three games, because we were not fluent in what we were trying to achieve,” he said. “I think from Sunderland on we have been.
"Anthything can happen in this group and it's this unpredictable situation we want to cut off by trying to win this game to put ourselves in a better position."