Chelsea boss Antonio Conte eased fears over David Luiz’s wrist injury by insisting the defender will be fit for the trip to Atletico Madrid next week.
The Brazilian reportedly fractured his wrist after colliding with the advertising hoardings in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal, before later being sent off for lunging in on Sead Kolasinac.
Luiz subsequently missed Wednesday’s comfortable 5-1 win over Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup and remains suspended for a further two Premier League fixtures.
While he would not confirm the specifics of the injury, Conte is confident of having the 30-year-old available for the Blues’ second Champions League group stage clash.
“He must be okay. David is an important player for us,” Conte said after the defeat of Forest.
“I know what happened at the end of the first half [against Arsenal] and for sure he will be ready for Atletico.”
Chelsea’s win over Forest, sealed courtesy of a Michy Batshuayi hat-trick, set up a fourth round EFL Cup date at home to Everton.
Ronald Koeman’s side beat Sunderland 3-0 to reach the last 16 and Conte believes the match will be a difficult challenge despite the Toffees’ poor Premier League form.
“It is a tough game. You know very well that they are one of the best teams in the league,” the former Juventus and Italy manager said.
“But we are ready. We are a great club and for this reason every competition is important to us.”
Brazilian reveals he now regrets missing out on Chelsea move
Bayern Munich right back Rafinha seems to be regretting staying at the German club, rather than moving to Chelsea in the summer.
The Blues reportedly tried to sign the Brazilian before the transfer deadline but their attempts were rebuffed by the Bundesliga side. Instead, Antonio Conte’s side signed Torino’s Davide Zappacosta for £25m to strengthen competition at right wing back for Victor Moses.
Rafinha has confirmed that he had an offer from England before the start of the season, as well as from Spain, but he is now frustrated that by staying at the Allianz Arena, he has found himself playing at left back; a position he is not comfortable with.
The defender has played all seven of his games for Bayern at left back this season, with German international Joshua Kimmich taking his more favoured role at right back in the starting eleven. Speaking to Bild recently (translated by the Daily Star), the 32 year old said:
“Everyone knows I’d rather play right back, that’s my position. I have been playing with Philipp Lahm for six years, and I have seen that I often had to sit on the bench. Don’t get me wrong: Joshua Kimmich is a super boy, but I also want to play, I also have to worry about my future.”
“I already had offers from England and Spain before this season. The responsible people know this. But they can always rely on me: FC Bayern is in my heart, I always give 100 percent. That is why I think that the responsible people understand that I want to play, but I have to think about my future.”