He is, however, relishing the challenge that awaits the team and this is because of the impressive performance he produced against Manchester City at the end of January, when the Premier League’s top two sides met at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea five points clear at the summit.
Four days earlier, Chelsea had beaten Liverpool to progress to the Capital One Cup final when Zouma shone from the off. It was enough to earn him only his second start in England’s top-flight for the visit of their nearest title rivals.
“It is a good memory,” he recalled in a chat with the official Chelsea website. “And it was an important stage in my development.
“First of all I played the game and I was really proud of that. We drew 1-1 and we defended well. For my part I think I did well against a good attack, helping the team to a draw.
“We know we are playing against a good team on Sunday and it will be difficult, but we have a chance to win. I think it will be a very interesting game.
“It’s a chance early in the season to show why we are champions. We want to defend our title. The season after a very good season is always hard but we have to show we are ready to try and do it.”
Zouma showed his versatility in the 2014/15 season when he lined up in central midfield for certain games, most notably the League Cup triumph over Tottenham at Wembley.
He had grown up as a right-sided defender but both in the pre-season game against Barcelona and the Community Shield he featured on the other side of the back four.
Cesc Fabregas would also make his 50th appearance for Chelsea if selected for the game.
The Spaniard’s 49 appearances to date have come in the Premier League (35), the FA Cup (1), the League Cup (4), the Champions League (8) and the recent Community Shield.