Chelsea boss keeps Kepa waiting over recall

Willy Caballero

The extraordinary flashpoint between Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has made the group stronger.

Sarri's future appeared to be in jeopardy until a mini-resurgence, with Sunday's Carabao Cup final loss to Manchester City on penalties following the Europa League win over Malmo.

Sarri hopes the Blues' midweek defeat of Tottenham can see Spurs slip back to make it a four-way battle for two Champions League qualifying spots, with Arsenal and Manchester United also in contention.

Sarri refused to confirm who would be his starting keeper at Craven Cottage when quizzed about the matter this week.

"I think we all understand what the football world's like, there's times in despair or times when things are going well you really see the love".

"Jorginho has a very strong character, a very strong personality", said Sarri.

"Usually when there is change of the coach there is a reaction".

"When there is a hard situation, I think it's very hard for everybody", Sarri said.

Willian will be hoping for a recall in attack but Pedro was excellent during the win over Tottenham after scoring the vital opening goal so the Spaniard should keep his place alongside Hazard and Higuain.

While these details are unlikely to change the minds of those who believe the 24-year-old was wrong to disobey his manager, they do suggest neither party is immune from responsibility for the fracas.

"Kepa will be on the pitch for one of the next two matches".

If Caballero does start ahead of Kepa, then the Spain worldwide will play in Thursday's Europa League round of 16 first leg at home to Dynamo Kiev.

"The Kepa situation now is closed".

"I've got a dying ambition to be a manager, certainly at this present moment in time, my main focus is trying to get the team together a little bit, trying to get a little bit of stability, take a deep breath and work from there really".

Sarri has no injuries to consider, but expects to rotate his options after a challenging week.

I think that he played very well in the last match (against Tottenham), better in the second half than in the first half. "But I am really very happy with the last three matches because we had good performances". And also for me, with my staff and my players.

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