15 Sep Luiz to start against Liverpool
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte insists he has every confidence in David Luiz after confirming the Brazilian will start against Liverpool on Friday night.
Luiz, the shock £34million deadline-day signing from Paris St Germain, will replace injured skipper John Terry at Stamford Bridge.
It will be the first appearance of Luiz’s second spell at the club, with his first stint as memorable for his erratic displays as his brilliant ones.
After completing the signing Conte vowed to work on the 29-year-old’s weaknesses, so Liverpool will be the first team to test the supposedly new and improved Luiz.
“David Luiz will play for the first time with us and we are confident about this,” said the Italian.
“We expect him to play very well, with great attention. We know David is a good player and we are working to put him in the best condition to give us the best of him.
“When new players arrive they need time to adapt to a new concept of football. Tomorrow we need to play David Luiz.
“He has worked a lot on defensive situations. I’m confident for him. He’s a good player and during the training sessions I have been seeing good things.”
Conte confirmed Terry would be available 10 days after his ankle ligament injury was initially diagnosed on Tuesday.
He also dismissed suggestions midfielder Cesc Fabregas could be sold in the next transfer window.
The Spain international has been reduced to a substitute’s role so far this season, casting doubt over his future at the club.
But Conte insists Fabregas remains an integral part of his plans and has no intention of letting him leave in January.
“Cesc is in my plans and in Chelsea’s plans,” he said.
“We all know Cesc is a fantastic player. I see him in every training session with great seriousness and if he continues in this way it will be very difficult choice for me.
“I want this from my players, to put doubts in my mind. Cesc is a great player, we all know he’s a very technical player, but also I’m starting to know him like a man.”
Chelsea, unbeaten so far this season, take on a Liverpool side buoyed by an impressive 4-1 win over champions Leicester last weekend.
“I’m expecting a very tough match against a strong team,” added Conte.
“I think Liverpool is a really good team, they play with identity, they can bring many players on in an offensive situation and we must pay great attention tomorrow.”