Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has backed Andreas Christensen to step in for the suspended David Luiz in tomorrow evening’s high-profile Premier League game at home to fellow title contenders Manchester City.
Luiz is serving the second game of his suspension following his dismissal against Arsenal earlier this month and, having featured at Stoke City in the Brazilian’s absence last weekend, Christensen is set to be called upon again when City visit Stamford Bridge.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Conte said: “As you know very well, David is a very important player for us. For sure he is a big loss for us, but I think that Andreas is playing very well and showing that he is a really good player.
“He’s a young player with big maturity and really good experience to play with us. I’m happy for his performance.”
Having joined Chelsea in 2012, Christensen matured during a two-year loan spell with Borussia Monchengladbach and returned to Chelsea as a player ready to make an impact in the first-team.
So far this season the Denmark international has made eight appearances for Chelsea across all competitions and the 21-year-old has impressed sufficiently to earn Conte’s backing.
Christensen has averaged five defensive actions per game in the Premier League this season, while he has completed 95 per cent of the passes that he has attempted.
Chelsea go into tomorrow’s game in third place in the Premier League table, three points adrift of leaders City.
Danny Higginbotham states his prediction for Chelsea v Man City
Danny Higginbotham is backing Chelsea and Manchester City to share the spoils at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.
The defending Premier League champions will welcome the current leaders to west London in what is the biggest fixture of the 2017-18 season so far.
Manchester City have barely put a foot wrong in the Premier League so far this season following a return of 18 points from their opening six games.
The Citizens have scored 21 times in the top flight and eased to a 2-0 win against Ukrainian side Shakthar Donetsk in the Champions League mid-week.
Chelsea lost 3-2 to Burnley in their opening fixture of the 2017-18 season but are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games to get their season back on track.
The Premier League title holders have beaten Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley before a goalless draw with Arsenal in what has been a tricky start for Antonio Conte’s side.
Former Manchester United defender Higginbotham is backing Chelsea and Manchester City to settle for a point each at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.
“I think this is going to be a very interesting game,” Higginbotham told Sky Sports News on Wednesday night.
“I think Chelsea will be happy to sit back and allow Manchester City to come at them and try and play on the counter-attack. I don’t think there’s much to separate them. But I’m going to go for a draw.”
Chelsea have won the Premier League title in two of the past three seasons but will be hoping to retain their Premier League crown for the first time since the Jose Mourinho era.