Thomas Tuchel reveals reason to start Kepa ahead of Mendy 

Thomas Tuchel reveals reason to start Kepa ahead of Mendy 

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed why he opted to start Kepa Arrizabalaga ahead of Edouard Mendy against Newcastle United. 

Kepa was handed a start role, making his fourth appearance start of the season as Chelsea host Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge. The under-fire Spain goalkeeper has played second-fiddle to summer signing Edouard Mendy in west London this term. But Thomas Tuchel promised the £72m signing from 2018 a "new start", and the Blues' new boss has delivered on that pledge.

"He had a good game in the cup so we decided to give him another match to build up a little bit of rhythm and confidence and to trust him because he did very good," said Tuchel. 

"At the same time, we can give Edou the chance to mentally recover because it’s a demanding position mentally and concentration-wise so with one decision we have both advantages."

On attack 

"We need strikers and goals, Tammy delivered [against Barnsley] and today we think there’s not such a high chance to drop from the number nine because they have a single six in front of their back four,"

Kepa kept a clean sheet in Thursday's 1-0 FA Cup win at Barnsley and has earned himself a first league start since October.

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