Chelsea hint at brave Graham Potter goalkeeper decision vs Aston Villa amid Edouard Mendy return
Kepa Arrizabalaga could be set to play feature for Chelsea as the Blues lock horns with Aston Villa this afternoon in the west Midlands
Chelsea have hinted that Kepa Arrizabalaga could keep his place between the sticks for the clash versus Aston Villa. The 28-year-old goalkeeper has started every game for the Blues since Graham Potter replaced Thomas Tuchel.
Kepa has featured five times for the former Brighton boss this season, keeping three clean sheets in the meantime. The Spaniard impressed in Edouard Mendy’s initial absence and has since played a key role in the west Londoners’ recent up-turn in form, with Chelsea winning each of their previous four matches.
And, Potter looks to set to continue entrusting the shot-stopper when the Blues faces Steven Gerrard’s side at Villa Park this afternoon. Chelsea’s in-house media team have posted a graphic across their social accounts of Kepa to preview the fixture with the west Midlands side.
The goalkeeper is the only player to feature on the post. While it does not guarantee that Kepa will start, it’s an interesting hint as the Spaniard grows into a prominent role under Potter.
Ahead of what is poised to be blockbuster bout, Potter previewed the tie. Speaking to football.london, the Blues boss explained how Mendy has reacted to Kepa holding down the number one role.
The 47-year-old said: “He’s been great, attitude fantastic, and supporting the team. He was obviously injured when I arrived and Kepa has played, done well and contributed to positive results. We’re in the situation now where we have two really good goalkeepers in the competition and that is what we need to push each other along.”
Potter continued by detailing the threat that Villa pose to Kepa, and the rest of the Chelsea squad. He said: “The margins are very small as we’ve said in the Premier League.
“I’m sure Steven will want to improve the results and will be looking to this game to try to do that. Had they beaten Nottingham Forest they would have gone above Liverpool, so that shows you how quickly things can change.
“We have to make sure we’re ready for the challenge. In the Premier League, there is always someone under pressure. At the moment it’s Steven but he has the quality and experience and will come through I’m sure. So he has to make sure we’re good ourselves and with the greatest respect, not worry to much about Aston Villa and concentrate on ourselves.”