Chelsea FC defender David Luiz will get his first start for the club against Fulham on Monday, and that's straight from the horse's mouth, too. Chelsea called a press conference to formally introduce their new #4 earlier today (despite him already having made an impressive cameo against Liverpool last week), and manager Carlo Ancelotti noted that he'll include him in their starting lineup for the first time in their upcoming derby:
[David Luiz] will start on Monday. I don't know, he has a lot of opportunity to play, he is a lucky player! Luiz is a very good defender because he has the ability and skills to play in all the positions in the back four ... he is Brazilian and so obviously has very good technique and he can help us to build our play better from the back. I think he will be one of the best defenders in the world in the future.
Watching Luiz against France on Wednesday, he started the game very strongly but struggled against the movement of Karim Benzema towards the end of the match. Brazil, however, had gone down to ten men very early on in the match and their defence did very well to keep France to just one goal - on the whole it was a reasonable defensive display for the £23M man, and he looked classy and composed on the ball (Luiz audibly chiding his forward line for not making better runs was a particular highlight).
Aside from heaping (deserved) praise on his new defender, Ancelotti confirmed that he'll be sticking with the 4-4-2 diamond as well as implementing a policy of squad rotation to keep his players fresher. My suspicion, thank's to Carlo's apparently belief that the players need to play more in the 4-4-2 to get used to it, is that a rotation policy will not imply a change of shape - Salomon Kalou will spell Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres rather than Chelsea reverting to 4-3-3.
Squad rotation can only be a good thing with certain members of the squad racking up the years and becoming increasingly injury prone. We're obviously set in attack and defence (incidentally, Alex is still out for a while and Bosingwa picked up a minor injury on international duty and faces a race to be fit for Monday), but I'm curious as to how we'll work things in midfield, where there's no obvious depth at the tip of the diamond. Who'll be taking that spot long-term is still an open question, and I think deploying Ramires and Florent Malouda as shuttling midfielders may provide a partial answer to our problem with width, if Ancelotti is indeed insistent on using his diamond for the rest of the season.