Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard on Friday announced that N’Golo Kante and Willian have recovered from their respective injuries and will be a part of FA Cup final squad against Arsenal. However, young midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to miss out the Wembley action.
“N’Golo Kante and Willian are in the squad so we’ll see if they’re fit to be in the starting 11,” Lampard was quoted as saying on the official website of Chelsea.
“Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a small problem he picked up yesterday so he’s out of the game,” he added.
Meanwhile, speaking about the opponents, Lampard warned his players about the threat Arsenal can carry on their day. He highlighted Gunners’ semifinal win against a much superior Manchester City side. Lampard said that Arsenal have some great individual talent in their team and will be a very tough opponent.
“I wasn’t surprised that they won the game [FA Cup semifinal]. Man City were probably most people’s favourites – they are in pretty much every game they play but I knew with the collective and individual talent Arsenal have that they had the capabilities to win a game like that.
“It’s a game I’ve paid close attention to but every game is different. They’ve had other results recently and played in different formations so we have to be ready for any eventuality but we also have to know that Arsenal are going to be a very tough match,” the Chelsea boss explained.
Meanwhile, it will be the third FA Cup final between the London rivals after 2002 and the 2017. While Arsenal had won in 2002, the Blue had emerged victorious in 2017. Overall, Arsenal have 13 FA Cups and Chelsea have nine.
Chelsea and Arsenal’s last major final clash had come in the Europa League’s ultimate match in 2019. In the Europa final last year in Baku, Chelsea had thrashed Arsenal 4-1. However, a lot of water has flown by Thames since then as both the London clubs have undergone a transformation under their new managers – Arsenal under Mikel Arteta and Chelsea under Lampard.
Lampard, meanwhile, said that Arteta has taken the right steps in the limited time he got during this season and expressed his respect for the Arsenal man. “I think he’s done a really good job since he’s been there,” the Chelsea legend said.
“I know that feeling of trying to lay down messages, keep trying to drill things home, make relationships and see where you want the club to be taken forward. From the outside, I’ve got big respect for the way he’s done his job.”