David Moyes has been handed a festive boost with the news that Phil Neville and Victor Anichebe are nearing full fitness.
Captain Neville has missed the last six matches after undergoing knee surgery, while forward Anichebe has spent five weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring complaint.
The Blues are set to play four matches in the space of 11 days with clashes against Wigan Athletic, Chelsea and Newcastle to follow after this Saturday’s trip to Upton Park.
Moyes will definitely have to make one change to his starting line-up against the Hammers with Marouane Fellaini suspended.
And the Blues boss admits that Neville and Anichebe’s progress comes at a welcome time.
“We don’t have that many options,” said Moyes. “We have a few injuries but we don’t have loads of choices.
“Thankfully it looks like Phil [Neville] and Victor [Anichebe] have got a chance of returning from injury. They are on their way back which gives us some extra bodies.
“I don’t know if anyone can fill the void of Marouane [Fellaini]. We might have to alter the way we play a little bit without him, so we will look at it and see if we can find the right solution.”
Moyes is likely to again be without Tony Hibbert after he had calf surgery, while Kevin Mirallas missed out last weekend with a hamstring problem.