John Terry's injury allows Chelsea a preview of life without him, and it doesn't seem to be too scary...
"Chelsea have lost four of the seven that Terry has started against the top six, conceding 1.43 goals per contest, while avoiding defeat and keeping clean sheets in both of the two that he didn’t."
In the three weeks since John Terry publicised that he hadn't been offered a new contract by Chelsea and that he anticipated leaving when his current deal expires in the summer, the media have been almost unanimously in his corner.
The fan response has been similar too, with many a "we want you to stay" chorus, which is pretty handy for the 35-year-old given that his decision to go public seemingly relied upon the supporters kicking up a fuss and helping force the board to change its mind.
The idea pushed by the press is that the Blues won't be the same without their captain, which is dubious when A) they reacted to the loss of fellow titans Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole two years ago by winning the title and B) this campaign has gone pretty dismally with Terry front and centre.
Sure, if you judge a player's impact on a team solely on win percentage when they are on the pitch versus when they don't participate, you could stick up for the former England skipper as Chelsea have won 41% of his 29 starts as opposed to 33% of the nine matches that he didn't compete in.
However, the defensive statistics are of greater interest when examining whether Terry still makes a positive impression and those show that they leak 1.24 goals a game when he is involved compared to just 1.00 when he isn't, with their clean-sheet rate climbing from 31% with to 44% without.
It is also worth noting that these figures are being achieved with Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic as the cover. The likelihood is that, if they do allow their number 26 to depart, they will invest in at least one quality centre back this summer, ensuring that they are in an even better position to cope.
The club legend's failure to recover from a hamstring injury means that the home FA Cup fifth-round tie against Manchester City will provide another glimpse of what the future might look like at Stamford Bridge, and it threatens to represent further uncomfortable viewing for the Barking native.
Chelsea's rearguard record with and without Terry has been more pronounced still in 2015/16 meetings with the current Premier League top six. They have lost four of the seven that he has started, conceding ten goals for an average of 1.43 per contest, while avoiding defeat and keeping clean sheets in both of the two that he didn't, beating Arsenal 2-0 and drawing 0-0 at Tottenham.
You can get 2.8415/8 that Guus Hiddink's men shut out Man City without their leader, a punt which has the potential to be assisted by Manuel Pellegrini's insinuation that he will field a weakened team.