The sight of Loic Remy wincing and holding his groin when he should have celebrating a typically unerring strike against Maribor was an unwelcome one for Chelsea.
With Diego Costa having missed the game with hamstring issues it leaves Didier Drogba as their sole remaining fit centre-forward.
The Ivorian has yet to convince he can offer anywhere near the same level of threat of either the Spaniard or the former Newcastle marksman.
Drogba spent much of his cameo against the Slovenians resembling a member of Stamford Bridge faithful, holding his head when shots narrowly missed or dropping to his knees when mistakes marred their build-up play.
As such an alternative system may need to be employed – one that enables the Blues to play without a recognised number nine and one for which they have the ideal personnel.
That system is the false-nine configuration synonymous with Barcelona and Spain.
Having tried a similar system with Andre Schurrle to underwhelming effect last season, Cesc Fabregas could be just the man for the job.
A modus operandi that often saw Fabregas in the eponymous role at Barcelona when Lionel Messi was unavailable – and even on occasion when he was – would rate a viable alternative to a centre-forward-led configuration.
Chelsea have just the kind of quick-thinking, small and skilful forwards to replicate the method that brought so much success for the Catalans and La Roja.
What’s more, playing Fabregas at the sharp end of the formation would mean that Jose Mourinho would not have to contemplate dropping Oscar from what is essentially a 4-3-3.
Instead the Brazilian, whose burgeoning understanding with Fabregas and Eden Hazard has been a joy to behold, can be safely deployed as part of a robust midfield three alongside Nemanja Matic and Ramires.
With Costa a doubt for the Blues’ visit to Old Trafford this weekend, now is the time to trial a centre-forward free system with a well-protagonist at its tip.
The former Arsenal and Barcelona star is 9/4 to bag against Manchester United.