Midfielder Robert Koren misses out as he starts his recovery from a hernia operation although he should be back training again in three weeks. Whether the Slovenia international is able to play any part in the hectic festive period remains to be seen.
Left-back Joe Mattock is already back in training after missing last weekend’s victory at Sheffield Wednesday with a foot injury and will now challenge Marek Cech to regain his place in Roberto Di Matteo’s starting XI, although Cech is favourite to continue having done well.
Winger Jerome Thomas is also okay having shaken off a back problem to start at Hillsborough before coming off with a tight hamstring while midfielder Filipe Teixeira (thigh/groin) is also available.
Striker Roman Bednar and defender Shelton Martis shook off flu-like symptoms to take their place among the substitutes against the Owls and they can expect to be on the bench again.
Apart from Koren, long-term absentee Ishmael Miller (knee) has been given the green light to step up his recovery and could be available in late January. There is still no date, however, for James Morrison (heel) and Neil Clement (knee).