Maurizio Sarri has yet to decide who will be in goal against Fulham on Sunday but he does anticipate making several changes to the side.
After the win against Tottenham on Wednesday, the boss said he expects Kepa Arrizabalaga, whom he dropped for that game, to start one of the next two matches with Willy Caballero, who kept a clean sheet against Spurs, to play the other.
Sarri, speaking on Friday afternoon at his pre-match press conference at Cobham, is standing by that plan…
As I said before,’ he began, ‘the Kepa situation is now closed and he is our first goalkeeper, but we are very happy for Willy because now we know very well he is able play in a very difficult match.
‘I want to see the last two training sessions,’ he explained when asked when the decision will be made, ‘but that is the case for every player because on Sunday we played for 130 minutes and 95 on Wednesday, so we need to value the recovery. The players ran 15 kilometres on Sunday on average and the average of the last match was 12, so we need to consider it.
‘I have no injury doubts but it is very important to value the recovery.’
Sarri said he does not yet know exactly how many positions in the team will need rotating for the visit to our nearest neighbours.
However he estimates about three or four changes. Gonzalo Higuain started against Spurs having begun the Carabao Cup final on the bench. Sarri is pleased with the way the striker combined with his team-mates on Wednesday and says he just needs now to improve his physical condition. With more acceleration will come goals.
The boss was also asked for an update on Gary Cahill who has not featured since late November.
‘I know very well Gary is in the last year of his contract,’ he responded. ‘I know there are some problems for a new contract, but for this you have to ask the club. He is training with his team-mates of course.
‘In the dressing room he is very important and so we use him in the right way because every player, every member of the staff knows very well he is very important for our dressing room.’