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David Luiz May Miss Liverpool Match

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Branislav Ivanovic is expected to maintain his place in the centre of Carlo Ancelotti's defence this weekend, despite the arrival of £23M David Luiz.
Branislav Ivanovic is expected to maintain his place in the centre of Carlo Ancelotti's defence this weekend, despite the arrival of £23M David Luiz.

I don't think anyone was really expecting David Luiz to start against Liverpool on Sunday, so this will come as a surprise to exactly nobody - the £23M defender may not start against Liverpool on Sunday. Although he signed on Monday, he didn't get to train with the team until Wednesday, and he then had to fly back home to Brazil for something to do with his work permit, according to the Mail. That's an 11,000 mile round trip and will probably keep him out of training until Saturday, which means he'll only have had two sessions before the Liverpool game.

It's not like the work permit is a long-term concern - a full Brazil international was never going to have real trouble getting clearance to play in England, but it is a major temporary problem, because without getting acclimated to his potential defensive partners, Luiz cannot be expected to form an effective centre back duo with anyone. While we like to think of attacking combinations as the most important bonds to cultivate, it's absolutely vital for defenders to have a good understanding of their colleague's abilities and responsibilities to play together effectively. Right now, Luiz doesn't have it.

The Brazilian might make the bench (he's fully fit and raring to go), but it doesn't really seem very Chelsea to just throw a centreback into the mixer straight away. If Fernando Torres makes a mistake against his old side, it's probably not a big deal, but if Luiz were to start and then make a major error, there's a very good chance it could cost Chelsea points. Liverpool aren't going to be pushovers and I just cannot see Carlo Ancelotti trotting out a defensive partnership that's never played together before against them.

I'd expect Branislav Ivanovic to partner John Terry for this one, with Jose Bosingwa continuing at right back. Maybe we'll see Luiz come in at the end of the game if all is going well, but I wouldn't put money on an appearance from Sideshow Jesus this weekend. Fulham next week is looking like a far surer bet for the ex-Benfica player.