Chelsea are poised to unleash new signing Gary Cahill during Sunday's crunch Premier League clash against Manchester United.
Blues Andre Villas-Boas confirmed there was a "big possibility" Cahill would finally make his debut at Stamford Bridge.
It would be a real baptism of fire for the £7 million January signing from Bolton, who is likely to shore up a defence missing captain John Terry and Ashley Cole.
Terry who missed the Swansea match with a knee injury has failed to recover in time for Sunday's blockbuster clash, while Cole is suspended after being sent off at the Liberty Stadium.
However, Villas-Boas was confident the England international would be able to help fill the void.
"I think he has been ready from the start, to be fair - he's trained magnificently well," said the Portuguese, who did not play him against Swansea.
Villas-Boas admitted the loss of Terry and Cole was "massive" because of their partnership on the left side of Chelsea's defence.
"It's a blow more in the sense of those two not being there to link together," he said.
Cole misses a league game for the first time in 65 matches and would have been the ideal foil for rampant United winger Antonio Valencia.
The Ecuador international has been back to his best in recent weeks, which has prompted Villas-Boas to rate the champions as favourites to retain their title.
"I think they will be the ones to beat," he said.
"This distance to Man City is equal to nothing and, for me, they will be the main favourites."
Villas-Boas has virtually written off Chelsea's title chances but was confident they would finish in the top four.
"I don't think we'll finish below fourth spot," he said.
But the Chelsea boss seems to running out of patience with the goal drought of £50 million flop Fernando Torres.
Villas-Boas said: "Off the field, mentally he is ready, he knows his responsibility, he knows what he has to do.
"On the field and on the training ground, we try and work on his movement. That's the only thing we can do and we have been for quite some time.
"I think eventually we could say that a goal will trigger it all but we have to wait and see because there needs to be continuity after that."
If not, Torres will quickly lose his place again when Didier Drogba returns from African Nations Cup duty.
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