Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is odds-on to start the club’s next match against Tottenham despite Sunday’s apparent rebellion in the League Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
Although both player and manager have since brushed off the episode a “misunderstanding”, Arrizabalaga appeared to defy the orders of his boss, Maurizio Sarri, when the Italian tried to substitute his keeper in extra-time, with a penalty shoot-out looming.
At the time, Sarri appeared angry with the Spaniard’s refusal to come off, but both parties later claimed the decision to withdraw him was because of an apparent “physical problem”, with Arrizabalaga insisting he was ok to continue.
It is widely believed Sarri wished to bring on Willy Caballero, the former City ‘keeper with a fine record of saving penalties, as the game trudged towards a shoot-out.
In the eyes of many, Sarri was undermined by his first choice goalkeeper, but Spaniard Arrizabalaga is expected to keep his place in the side ahead of Tottenham’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Paddy Power go 2/5 on the 24-year-old starting the game, and 10/3 that he’s dropped.
Indeed, the same bookmaker has a range of specials on when, not if, Sarri will be sacked for his failure to control the Chelsea dressing room, with the Blues having slipped to sixth in the Premier League following a run of poor domestic results.
It’s 8/1 for Sarri to be sacked before Wednesday’s meeting with Spurs, 11/8 for the Italian to be gone by their next encounter against Fulham on March 3, while Paddy Power go as short as 1/5 for him to be gone by their last game of the Premier League season, against Leicester on May 12.
Sarri remains the favourite to be the next Premier League manager sacked, with a host of star names linked as his potential successor.