Carlo Ancelotti is facing up to having to shuffle his defensive pack in the coming month as a thigh injury has left Alex sidelined for up to three weeks.
Alex has formed a formidable partnership with John Terry at the heart of the defence since Ancelotti’s arrival and has been partly responsible for Chelsea having still not conceded a Premier League goal at Stamford Bridge this season.
Chelsea’s resolve at the back has helped them move four points clear at the top of the table and they are now 4/7 to win the Premier League.
However, although Alex’s setback has favourably arrived in the international break, he is still expected to miss the Premier League games away at Aston Villa and at home to Wolves.
The obvious solution for Ancelotti is to bring in Paulo Ferreira at right-back and switch Branislav Ivanovic from this position into the middle of the defence.
This selection would also make sense as Ferreira has already made eight appearances this season, but some people still have question marks about his defensive qualities.
Another option would be to welcome back Jose Bosingwa to the first team as the Portugal defender is ready to return to action after a year out with knee trouble.
Bosingwa is back training with Chelsea and is another known for his rampaging forward forages and not necessarily for his defensive attributes.
Ivanovic has proved a better defender at right-back, who very rarely has a bad game and is solid in the tackle.
If Ancelotti decides to avoid making too many adjustments to his back line he could also leave Ivanovic in his current position and take a chance on highly-touted youngster Jeffrey Bruma.
Manchester City currently sit second in the Premier League and are 7/1 to win the title in May. See the full Premier League winners betting odds market.