David Luiz will make his first start since rejoining Chelsea when he deputises for injured captain John Terry against Liverpool in the Premier League on Friday.
Manager Antonio Conte believes the 29-year-old Brazil defender, who left Chelsea for Paris St Germain in 2014 but returned earlier this month, is ready.
“Tomorrow David Luiz will play for the first time…we expect him to play well,” Conte told a news conference on Thursday. “He has worked a lot on the defensive situations and I’m confident about him.”
Terry damaged ankle ligaments during a 2-2 draw at Swansea City on Sunday, Chelsea’s first dropped points of the season, and is expected to be out for 10 days.
Luiz, who had a previous two-and-a-half year spell at the club, returns under a fresh regime with Conte unlikely to accommodate his occasional lapses.
“It’s true when new players arrive that they need to have time to adapt to a new concept,” the Italian said.
Chelsea can go top ahead of the weekend fixtures with a win at Stamford Bridge.