Kepa Arrizabalaga or Willy Caballero? Frank Lampard speaks out on ‘difficult’ FA Cup final selection

Willy Caballero and Kepa Arrizabalaga in training ahead of Chelsea's FA cup clash with Arsenal
Willy Caballero and Kepa Arrizabalaga are competing for a place in Chelsea’s starting XI at Wembley

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard admits he’s got an extremely ‘difficult’ decision to make as he prepares to choose between Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero for tomorrow’s FA Cup final but has called for togetherness regardless of the starting XI he fields against Arsenal.

The Blues have impressed since the season restarted and have won ten of their last 13 games in all competitions, but speculation surrounding Kepa’s future has dominated the headlines ahead of the side’s trip to Wembley this weekend.

A series of high-profile errors from Chelsea’s number one have forced the club to search for a new goalkeeper this summer, with Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, Ajax’s Andre Onana and Burnley’s Nick Pope all linked with moves to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Kepa has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge (Picture: Getty)

Lampard selected Caballero between the sticks for Chelsea’s semi-final victory over Manchester United and the 38-year-old Argentinian also started at home to Wolves on the final day of the Premier League campaign.

‘As we’ve seen in the season at times, I’ve had to change it when I’ve felt the need to change it,’ Lampard said at his press conference on Friday when asked about the decision he has to make between the two ‘keepers.

‘I always do it with the idea of: can we win the game, can we be the strongest we can be? And it’s always with the consideration of what opposition are in front of us.

‘For big games like this it becomes slightly more difficult because I know how much players want to be involved in these games.

‘But we have to be a strong squad, we have to be together on it whatever XI, whatever people are on the bench because it was people on the bench that have made a huge differences in certain games over the last period for us.

‘We have to feel like we’re all together and if we win it it means a collective thing for us.

‘So yeah, it’s difficult for me, it’ll be difficult to take but players have to be positive and try win as a group.’

Lampard reserved special praise for Olivier Giroud who has been in outstanding form for Chelsea since the lockdown, racking up seven goals in all competitions.

‘It’s always firstly down to the player on form,’ Chelsea’s manager said when asked about Giroud’s resurgence.

‘I try to work with the group to make my message clear. You work on a lot of things with strikers, on and off the ball.

‘Olivier has been fantastic listening to that, the credit goes to him.’

Lampard will be looking to add another FA Cup title to the four he won as a player with Chelsea and it’s clear his hunger for silverware is as strong as it ever has been.

‘I would be delighted to and if you get to a final you want to win it,’ he added.

‘It will be difficult, many a great manager haven’t won things, but now we are here I want to win it.’

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