Chelsea boss Tuchel explains decision to start Kepa over Mendy vs Newcastle


Thomas Tuchel has this evening provided an insight into his decision to hand Kepa Arrizabalaga a surprise start, in Chelsea’s meeting with Newcastle.

Chelsea vs Newcastle

The final fixture of the Premier League gameweek is set to play out at Stamford Bridge shortly.

The clash in question will see the aforementioned Tuchel’s Chelsea welcome the relegation-battling Magpies to west London.

It is the hosts who will of course head into proceedings as favourites to bag all 3 points, having racked up 4 wins from 5 under the guidance of their recently-appointed boss.

Newcastle, though, will also enter the matchup with their tails up, having notched two wins from their last 3, the latest of which saw Steve Bruce’s men put 3 past Southampton.

Chelsea boss Tuchel explains decision to start Kepa over Mendy vs Newcastle

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United looks on during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Leicester City at St. James Park on January 01, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

‘Build confidence’

As such, ahead of kick-off, Chelsea will no doubt be wary of a potential upset at the hands of their frankly unpredictable opponents this evening.

In turn, it came as something of a shock when, upon the Blues’ starting line-up being made official a short time ago, the club’s first-choice between the posts this season – Edouard Mendy – was nowhere to be seen.

Instead, the heavily scrutinised Kepa Arrizabalaga was included, a decision which has since unsurprisingly caused quite a stir amongst the Chelsea faithful:

It therefore came as little surprise when Thomas Tuchel was quickly drawn on his goalkeeping shake-up during a pre-match interview.

The German, though, kept things simple with his response, simply citing Kepa’s impressive FA Cup display versus Barnsley during the week, with Tuchel eager to rebuild the shaken confidence of his current no.2:


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