Kepa strength identified as Chelsea receive triple Club World Cup fitness boost

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has been praised after his heroics against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup, while three key players have travelled to the Club World Cup after recent layoffs.

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In pictures: Chelsea v Plymouth

Chelsea supporters watching the FA Cup draw on Sunday morning would have done so with a sense of relief.

The Blues needed extra time and a late Kepa Arrizabalaga penalty save to advance 2-1 against Plymouth Argyle. The European champions have been handed a winnable fifth-round draw too, with an away trip to Luton Town to come.

Manager Thomas Tuchel will be hoping Saturday’s stodgy performance will have knocked off some rust, as the team prepare to take part in the Club World Cup in the coming days. Chelsea are set to be in action on Wednesday at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Should the Club World Cup be a priority for Chelsea this season? Let us know in the comments section below!

Pulisic and Kante have travelled to the Club World Cup

Praise for Kepa

After Chelsea spent a world-record sum to bring Kepa to Stamford Bridge, the Spain international has endured a torrid time at Stamford Bridge.

However, the goalkeeper enjoyed a rare high point on Saturday, as his penalty save prevented a possible shootout with the League One outfit and effectively booked Chelsea’s spot in the next round.

Following the game, Chelsea assistant Arno Michels hailed the performance of the former Athletic Club stopper.

“In the last few matches, I’ve felt him very reliable in his game,” he said. “His strength is to save penalties, he’s shown it a few times now: in the Carabao Cup twice, against Villarreal, and even in training, it’s hard to beat him.”

To read the story in full click HERE.

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Triple boost

Reece James, Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante were all part of Chelsea’s travelling party for the Club World Cup.

The former has been a major miss for the Blues in recent weeks, as they’ve won just one Premier League game of the four played since he was injured at the end of December.

It is not thought that James will play a part in the competition, although supporters will be encouraged by the sight of the right-back around the first team squad. The inclusions of Pulisic and Kante after they both missed Saturday’s match would also indicate their issues are not serious.

Tuchel has not traveled yet, although is hopeful of joining the squad after going through the relevant protocols having recently tested positive for Covid-19.

To read the story in full click HERE.

Barcelona eye defensive duo

According to reports in Spain, Barcelona are interested in signing both Cezar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen from Chelsea.

Both defenders’ contracts expire at the end of the campaign, meaning they are currently permitted to discuss terms with the Catalan club over a transfer should they wish.

Barcelona strengthened their squad with Premier League attackers in January, signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Adam Traore and Ferran Torres from Arsenal, Wolves and Manchester City respectively.

Now they appear read to capitalise on the ongoing uncertain contract situations surrounding a number of Blues centre-backs.

To read the story in full click HERE.

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