Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has revealed that David Luiz is struggling with a knee injury, but has backed him to face Burnley on Sunday.
The Brazilian international has been a rock in the Chelsea defence this season, with Conte re-signing him last summer and placing him in the heart of his preferred three-man defence.
In turn, it has played a significant factor in why the club are top of the Premier League table after 24 games, and after Tottenham Hotspur slipped up at Liverpool on Saturday, they have the chance to stretch their lead on Sunday when they take on Burnley.
It won’t be easy as Sean Dyche’s men are strong at home, but such is the form the league leaders are in, it’s difficult to go against them securing all three points.
Nevertheless, Conte has been handed a headache in terms of selection, but it looks as though he’ll have his first-choice defensive trio at his disposal as he expects Luiz to shake off the knee problem and take his place in the starting line-up.
“He’s available, his fitness is good but he’s playing with a little pain in his knee,” Conte told the media, as reported by the Mirror.
“He’s a warrior and he’s playing very well, I’m pleased for him. He’s showing me a great attitude and a will to continue to fight despite the fact that sometimes he has a bit of pain.”
Chelsea boast the best defensive record in the Premier League, albeit having played one less game than most of their rivals, and that is in large part to the job that the back three have done since the system was implemented in September.
With N’Golo Kante offering protection in front of them, it has made them bitterly difficult to break down and beat. In turn, Conte will be delighted to see the commitment and desire from his players to play through the pain barrier for the good of the team.