Monday, March 2, 2020

"Kepa is in contention to Start against Liverpool"- Lampard

Ahead of an FA Cup showdown with Liverpool on Tuesday, Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard has said in his Pre-match conference that Kepa Arrizabalaga could return to the blues starting line-up after missing the side's last six games in all competitions.

"Yes, Kepa [is in contention]," Lampard told a press conference. "He has been professional as expected, trained well and kept his head down, supporting the team and the group. He has been good, but I say the same every week as I get asked this every week."

When pressed on whether he is planning to rely on Kepa in the long-term, Lampard responded: "Yeah, every player is in control of their destiny in how they train and how they play.

"This is Chelsea and we're trying to close the gap to the top, so there can be no one who is relaxed or loose, we have to push every day.

"And try to win the game in front of us, train well on the day in front of you.

"Of course, we have to look at the group in the summer. But there are no decisions beyond the game tomorrow night as far as I'm concerned."

The 41-year-old added on the challenge Liverpool will pose his side: "We will field a team that gives everything to get into the next round against a very strong Liverpool team.

"The team I put out should give everything to compete with Liverpool, as we have done twice this season. We've competed very well against them and were probably unfortunate to lose on both occasions.

"So we have to approach it with the same spirit. We want to win it [the FA Cup] but winning something is usually a phrase that has gone out of the Premier League unless you are Manchester City or Liverpool, pretty much, in the last couple of years.

"They have made so many strides and gone out on their own slightly so we have to understand that the landscape has changed and try to bridge the gap." 

"We would expect Liverpool to put out a strong team, I presume they will play their strongest team, there or thereabouts," Lampard said.

"We know whatever team they put out they will give us a very strong match. We have to play with a big spirit and we will have to be at our best.

"Their defeat against Watford won't make it any easier for us. With the type of manager and players that they have, it can be a wake-up call in a good way as well. It depends on how you take it.

"When you look at them they look like a team of fantastic professionals with a manager who is very driven. So things like that can make this game even harder for us.

"They became relatively human for one game, that can happen in this Premier League which is incredibly competitive. It shows how well they have done in the last year or so, especially this season."

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