Chelsea boss Antonio Conte insists he has every confidence in David Luiz after confirming the Brazilian will start against Liverpool tonight.
Luiz, the shock £34m deadline-day signing from Paris St Germain, will replace injured skipper John Terry at Stamford Bridge in the first appearance of his 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 this season, take on a Liverpool buoyed by a 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.”
Meanwhile greed is good as far as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is concerned, as he seeks to establish high-level consistency.
The Reds were excellent in the 4-1 win over Premier League champions Leicester on Saturday but performances this season have not all met the same standards.
After impressively beating Arsenal at the Emirates 4-3 on the opening weekend of the season they proceeded to lose 2-0 at promoted Burnley the following week.
Key for Klopp now is to replicate the best performances week after week, starting at Chelsea, but he expects the players to provide their own motivation.
Asked how his squad they could replicate the football which cut Leicester to shreds he said: “Staying greedy.
“The movement was brilliant, everybody saw it. Daniel [Sturridge] was involved in three goals: The first one was a brilliant run and brilliant movement with Roberto [Firmino].
“Roberto can make exactly the same run but if Daniel doesn’t make the run he’s not free in front of goal. That’s how football is. Being this kind of flexible is the key for all games.
“It’s not about the players. It’s about the behaviour in the position. It’s about timing, doing the right thing in the right moment and using the confidence, which can grow in a game when you are in a good moment.
“There’s a lot of space for improvement and we need to improve for the Chelsea game of course because they are so experienced.
“If they want, on specific days they can play a really ugly game where nothing really works, but they always stay cool and in the right moment, (score a) goal, and nobody cares.”
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