LONDON -- Antonio Conte has confirmed that defender David Luiz will make his first Chelsea appearance since returning to the club against Liverpool on Friday, with captain John Terry sidelined due to an ankle injury.
Luiz, who finalised a shock return to Stamford Bridge from Paris Saint-Germain on deadline day, is set to start alongside Gary Cahill.
"Tomorrow David Luiz will play for the first time with us, and we are confident about this," Conte said. "We expect him to play very well, with great attention. We know David is a great player. We are working to put him in the best condition to give us the best of him."
Terry was diagnosed with strained ankle ligaments on Tuesday, having left the Liberty Stadium on crutches after landing awkwardly in the final minutes of Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Swansea City, and faces a fight to return in time for the Blues' trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on Sept. 24.
"John strained the ligaments in his ankle," Conte said. "The doctor told me that after 10 days, he can come back. But the player is working, working very hard. Today he had a training session to recover."
Last week Conte said that Luiz and fellow deadline day signing Marcos Alonso would need time to adapt to his idea of football. But despite admitting that Terry's injury has forced his hand, Chelsea's head coach is adamant that the Brazilian centre-back is ready for the challenge of facing a Liverpool side that has scored nine goals in their first four Premier League matches.
"I said this because it was the truth," Conte added. "When new players arrive, it's normal that they need time to adapt to our concept and idea of football. But tomorrow we need him, we need David Luiz to play.
"He's worked a lot the last few days on defensive situations with the ball, when we are in possession. So I'm confident in him. Alonso, also, is a good player and I'm pleased. During the training sessions I saw good things."
Speaking ahead of Friday's match Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was highly complimentary when asked about Conte, describing the Chelsea head coach as "the Pep Guardiola of Juventus" in honour of his achievements in Turin.
Asked about Klopp's comments, Conte replied: "I have great difficulty describing other people... but Jurgen Klopp is a great manager, one of the best in the world, and is showing great capacity at Liverpool to be a great manager.
"I know him, but not too much. We played against each other only once, in preseason. But he's a fantastic manager. I'm very glad to see him tomorrow."