Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo's main transfer business has involved changing the attacking part of his side, with Oscar, Eden Hazard and Marko Marin all joining the club. The defensive unit has remained largely intact, but Di Matteo still has a dilemma at centre-back, where David Luiz and Gary Cahill are battling it out for the second centre-back slot alongside John Terry.
Di Matteo used the two players roughly equally after taking charge last season: he picked Cahill 11 times and Luiz nine, while both played excellently during the Champions League final, when Terry was suspended.
The two players offer different qualities. Luiz is the more proactive defender, being drawn forward from his centre-back position easily. Last season, he made 1.4 tackles and 2.8 interceptions per match, compared to Cahill's 1.0 and 1.3 respectively. Cahill is more conservative and better at positioning himself in the penalty box, summed up by the fact he made 5.7 clearances per game, compared to Luiz's 3.9. Terry needs a quick player alongside him, which is probably Luiz, but the Brazilian often gets himself too high up the pitch to be in a decent covering position.
But I think Luiz is becoming a more complete defender. His rash positional mistakes are increasingly rare, and during the Community Shield last weekend he appeared significantly stronger than last season, as if he'd spent the summer working hard in the gym.
His selection for that game alongside Terry means Di Matteo might see him as first choice, and I think he'd be well-suited to handling Franco Di Santo this weekend. The Argentine is a striker who wants to hold up the ball, rather than running in behind. Luiz will stick tight and be comfortable moving into deep positions.