Chelsea's Sarri praises recalled Kepa as keeper shines

Chelsea Leicester City and when firing the manager is riskier than keeping them

Asked if he could have left Kepa on the sidelines for the remainder of the season, Sarri replied: "Considering the man, no - because I know him very well".

The Blues were rocked by controversy during their EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester City at Wembley when club-record signing Arrizabalaga refused to come off the pitch after being lined up for a substitution.

Sarri has found himself under pressure in recent weeks due to Chelsea FC's stuttering form in all competitions.

But that challenge to the Italian manager's authority has actually sparked an upturn in Chelsea's fortunes.

Chelsea XI to play Fulham: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Higuain, Hazard.

Chelsea play Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League last-16 first-leg on Thursday when the Ukrainian Premier League side travel to Stamford Bridge.

Get the latest sports news updates. "All the rest is not important at this moment", Sarri told reporters when asked about his job prospects on Wednesday.

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Meanwhile, Ruben Loftus-Cheek revealed that the keeper apologised to the team after Fulham's win for his actions in the Carabao Cup final. But, with another man, yes of course.

"We have always talked about all the problems we have had". "We were trying to involve Tottenham in the... I think that a minimum of consistency has arrived, but we have to continue".

And he echoed the concerns of Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino about English clubs being at a disadvantage in European competitions due to punishing schedules. From beleaguered to bullish, Maurizio Sarri's Blues now scent Champions League qualification.

Drinkwater has not featured since the Community Shield against Manchester City back in August and has only made the bench for one Premier League match this season - the 4-1 home win over Cardiff City in mid-September. So, for him, it's very important to finish the match in that way. "I think it's too early".

The Blues sit sixth in the English top flight, two points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, with a game in hand.

"There are principles, but there are also other reasons to make you have some common sense and try to take it in the right way".

Sarri insisted the strength of Kepa's character meant the world's most expensive goalkeeper was never likely to spend the remainder of the season on the sidelines.

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