Chelsea have been dealt a huge injury blow ahead of their Carabao Cup final meeting with Liverpool later this month.
Chelsea have endured a thoroughly disappointing Premier League campaign, and currently find themselves 11th in the table and 16 points off the top four.
Mauricio Pochettino is under increasing pressure, but despite his side’s dismal league form, runs in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup mean Chelsea have a great chance of finishing the season with silverware.
The Stamford Bridge club will take on Leeds United in the FA Cup fifth round at the end of the month, and three days before that they will meet Liverpool at Wembley in the final of the Carabao Cup.
Winning the Carabao Cup would by no means save Chelsea’s season, but lifting at least one piece of silverware might buy Pochettino a little more time in the Stamford Bridge hot seat.
However, he will not be able to call upon defender Benoit Badiashile for the showpiece Wembley fixture.
The 22-year-old France international has been ruled out of action for at least a month after suffering a groin problem during Chelsea’s FA Cup win against Aston Villa last week.
It was hoped that Badiashile would not miss too many games, but scans have confirmed the damage is more serious than first thought.
A four-week absence means Badiashile will miss Chelsea’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace on Monday, as well as a daunting trip to reigning champions Manchester City on Saturday.
The youngster is unlikely to return in time for the FA Cup tie against Leeds, meaning Pochettino will be without his key defender for two of his side’s most important games of the campaign.
Badiashile has made just eight Premier League appearances this season with six of them being starts, after missing the opening two months of the campaign through injury.
The former Monaco man was withdrawn in the closing stages of the 3-1 victory against Villa, and will likely be replaced in the starting XI by veteran centre-back Thiago Silva.