Thomas Tuchel confirmed Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chillwell had all tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of Chelsea's clash with Everton.
The Premier League have made the decision to postpone several matches this week as the highly contagious Omicron variant threatens to obliterate English football's busy winter schedule.
Everton's trip to Stamford Bridge was given the go-ahead tonight, though, with third-placed Chelsea looking to make up ground on top-of-the-table Manchester City.
Lukaku, Werner, Hudson-Odoi and Chilwell – already sidelined with a knee injury – are all observing a period of self-isolation and were therefore not considered for selection against Rafa Benitez's struggling Toffees.
Kai Havertz, meanwhile, was left out due to illness and there are fears the Germany international could also have come down with the virus.
Asked about Chelsea's situation ahead of kick-off, Tuchel told BT Sport: 'Kai feels unwell, he's not positive yet but we're waiting for test results and we decided to not bring him to the squad.
'We did some extra tests at 12 o'clock today to make sure who would arrive at lunch. From there we had to pick the team. Would it be the same line-up? I don't know.
'The situation started yesterday with the players feeling unwell and not training.
'We had to confirm the flow tests and wait for the PCR results.'
Though without several key players, Tuchel remains confident Chelsea have the strength to 'push forward' and apply pressure on their title rivals.
'The results are the results and the situation is the situation,' the German added.
'We still have a strong squad and one we want to push forward, and that should be able to compete.
'Like always, we focus on the guys who are there.'
Tuchel said he had not asked the Premier League to postpone the fixture despite the outbreak in his squad.
'I don't lose my concentration or energy with questions like this,' the former PSG and Borussia Dortmund boss went on.
'I'm pretty sure Petr [Cech] and Marina [Granovskaia] take care of this.
'We are in close contact with our doctors.
'At some point it's getting difficult in terms of overuse of players, but I was not involved in these thoughts.'
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