Maurizio Sarri is set to decide whether to end Kepa Arrizabalaga’s Chelsea exile at Fulham on Sunday as the under-fire Blues boss and his controversial keeper face a defining moment in their troubled season.
Agence France-Presse

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s exile from Chelsea’s starting XI is over after one match with the goalkeeper restored for Sunday’s clash with Fulham.

Spain international Kepa refused to be substituted during last weekend’s EFL Cup final loss to Manchester City and was dropped for the midweek win over Tottenham.

But head coach Maurizio Sarri, who initially labelled the Wembley incident a “misunderstanding”, has recalled the 24-year-old for the trip to Craven Cottage.

Kepa’s return comes despite Willy Caballero, the man who was set to replace him for the penalty shoot-out against City, keeping a clean sheet in the morale-boosting 2-0 victory over Spurs.

Sarri has made four other changes with David Luiz, Mateo Kovacic and Pedro joining Caballero on the bench, while Marcos Alonso is out of the squad entirely.

Andreas Christensen, Emerson Palmieri, Ross Barkley and Willian are their replacements.

Hosts Fulham are in grave relegation danger and sacked Claudio Ranieri after a 2-0 defeat at Southampton on Wednesday extended their losing streak to four games.

Interim boss Scott Parker, a former Chelsea midfielder, has made just one change for his first match in charge, replacing Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa with Ryan Sessegnon.

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