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Branislav Ivanovic is reportedly going to miss the Stoke opener with a thigh injury

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According to the Daily Mail, Ivanovic has not trained fully since injuring his thigh over a week ago in training.  He was not named to the Serbian squad today which faced the Russian national team, work permit seeking Slobodan Rajkovic started in his place.  With Alex and John Terry both fully fit, we shouldn't be in a real crisis due to the minor knocks suffered by Luiz and Ivanovic as long as they stay healthy.  If they get hurt or red carded, we could be in real trouble.  

If both are unavailable for the bench this weekend, it would certainly be very useful to have Rajkovic's permit go through in the next several days.  If he's not yet available, we'll likely see either Tomas Kalas or Nathaniel Chalobah dressing for the first team.  John Obi Mikel is also questionable with a bad ankle, and his natural backup (Romeu) is still away in Colombia and hasn't yet trained with Chelsea.  I suppose there is always Paulo Ferriera, but nobody wants to see that again.  I guess drawing West Brom and Norwich at home following Stoke is starting to look like a real blessing right now.  Please stay healthy guys...this injury stuff is already getting old and we haven't even started the season yet.