Reece James must avoid getting booked for Chelsea against Aston Villa if he wants to be available to face Brighton & Hove Albion in the following fixture.
The defender has four yellow cards in the Premier League this season.
Earn one more on Boxing Day and he will be suspended for the Stamford Bridge showdown with Brighton three days later.
James is not one to shy out of a tackle or a confrontation with an opponent.
He usually channels his aggression into crossing or striking the ball, both skills that made Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink call the England international ‘class’.
Chelsea must be careful with the cards
This weekend’s game at Villa Park is the last time a player can get a suspension for five yellow cards.
After that, the tally increases to ten yellow cards for a one-match embargo.
Fortunately for Thomas Tuchel, no other Chelsea stars are in danger of receiving such a punishment.
Jorginho, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso are all on three bookings, therefore the only chance of hitting the unwanted target is to pick up two yellows.
This, of course, would mean a sending-off and therefore a one-match ban anyway.
For Brighton, Yves Bissouma and Shane Duffy are currently serving their suspension, having already hit the five-card limit.
Permitted the Seagulls’ game against Brentford goes ahead, the pair will be eligible to face Chelsea.
However, Adam Lallana, Joel Veltman and Neal Maupay must tread carefully around the Bees, as they are walking the tightrope of four yellow cards.
Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here