Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has backed a retrained David Luiz to cope with Liverpool’s in-form strikeforce when the Brazil defender makes his second Blues debut on Friday night.
The Reds visit Stamford Bridge six days after they hit four past Premier League champions Leicester and having done the same on their last visit to London in a scintillating win at Arsenal.
Conte is yet to instil the defensive rigour that typified his Italy team at Euro 2016 since taking charge of the Blues, who have kept just one clean sheet in their four fixtures.
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The erratic Luiz may not appear the obvious solution but Conte believes specialist training can transform the centre-back, who is set for his first start since rejoining the club for £34m last month.
“David Luiz will play for the first time with us and we are confident about this. We expect him to play very well, with great attention,” said Conte, who is without injured captain John Terry.
“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.
“He has worked a lot on defensive situations. I am confident for him. He is a good player and during the training sessions I have been seeing good things.”
Conte has also played down concerns that striker Diego Costa could pick up an early suspension after he picked up a third booking of the campaign in Sunday’s draw at Swansea.
“Yes, two more yellow cards is a ban but I am not worried about it,” he added. “Diego is growing in these situations. In the last game he showed great attitude.”