Fernandez missed Chelsea's 2-0 defeat to Brentford on Saturday due to a combination of minor muscle tightness and his wife giving birth to their second child the night before.
Mauricio Pochettino remains without eight players in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, including Mykhailo Mudryk, who pulled out of the Brentford match due to a similar muscle issue.
Armando Broja, Ben Chilwell, Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia, Trevoh Chalobah, Carney Chukwuemeka and Wesley Fofana are also out. Chilwell has travelled overseas to step up his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury.
Chelsea make a few changes as they face Championship opposition in midweek, with a huge trip away at table-toppers Tottenham to come in the Premier League on Monday night.
Goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic does not make his debut however and James will be re-introduced into a back four featuring Axel Disasi and a returning Benoit Badiashile, with Marc Cucurella continuing at left-back. Badiashile has been out since May but has featured in Chelsea's last two matchday squads.
Teenage attacking midfielder Leo Castledine features among the substitutes.
Chelsea XI: Sanchez; James, Badiashile, Disasi, Cucurella; Ugochukwu, Gallagher, Fernandez; Palmer, Jackson, Sterling
Injuries: Mudryk, Broja, Chilwell, Nkunku, Lavia, Chalobah, Chukwuemeka, Fofana
Time and date: 7.45pm GMT on Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Venue: Stamford Bridge