Thomas Tuchel answers whether Chelsea will bring on Kepa Arrizabalaga if FA Cup final against Liverpool goes to penalties

The Blues are in their third consecutive FA Cup final.
The Blues are in their third consecutive FA Cup final.
Sachin Bhat

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is unsure if Edouard Mendy or Kepa Arrizabalaga would be in goal if their FA Cup final with Liverpool goes to penalties.

The Blues are in action for the Wembley showpiece on Saturday, which presents their last hope of winning silverware this season. It's a rematch of their 2022 Carabao Cup final, which the Reds clinched 11-10 on penalties, where Kepa was in goal for them.

Mendy started the match and kept a clean sheet but was taken off ahead of the shootout in a move that eventually backfired. That's because Kepa failed to save a penalty and also missed his spot-kick.

SCENES!!! 🀯The 22nd penalty that was missed by Kepa Arrizabalaga after being subbed on for the shoot-out in the Carabao Cup final! πŸ˜¨πŸ‘‡

At his pre-match press conference ahead of the FA Cup final, Tuchel was coy about which goalkeeper could feature if a shootout ensues, saying:

"I will not tell you; I have an opinion; you will see. If we decided like Carabao Cup before, we will do it. Let's see if we have changes left, how the match goes with Edou. We have a plan for what we can do."

He continued:

"I'm a bit torn with practising over how much you can do it. My players shoot a lot of penalties during a season. Not shooting 10 a week before a final. 1 or 2 a day, which is good, to have a certain routine for the players."

Interestingly, Kepa was also in goal during Chelsea's penalty shootout defeat in the 2019 Carabao Cup final. He had famously refused to come off after then-manager Maurizio Sarri sought to swap him with substitute goalkeeper Willy Caballero, drawing the Italian's ire.

The Spaniard also started in last year's FA Cup final against Leicester City, which the Blues lost 1-0. However, it was Mendy who started in the UEFA Champions League final win against Manchester City, where the Senegalese bagged a clean sheet.

Chelsea looking to get third time lucky in FA Cup final

Having lost the previous two finals, Chelsea are looking to avoid the ignominy of becoming the first team to lose three consecutive FA Cup title matches. The Blues lost to Arsenal in 2020 and to Leicester City last year. This is the Blues' fifth FA Cup final in six years, winning one.

Chelsea reach the FA Cup final for the third consecutive season πŸ”΅πŸ†

Liverpool certainly won't make their lives any easier as Jurgen Klopp's team are hoping to pull off their first domestic cup double since the 2000-01 season. On paper, the Reds are the better team, but Chelsea are in a confident mood after their 3-0 win over Leeds United at the weekend.

Paul Merson has predicted Manchester United vs Liverpool and other PL GW3 fixtures! Click here

Edited by Bhargav


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