Kepa Arrizabalaga was left out of Chelsea’s starting line-up for the Premier League fixture away at Leicester City.
The Spanish goalkeeper was in the XI for the Blues’ last league outing – a 2-2 home draw with Arsenal – but was on the bench for the FA Cup trip to Hull City, with Willy Caballero selected for the 2-1 triumph in the fourth-round tie.
However, while Kepa was expected to come back in to face the Foxes, head coach Frank Lampard opted instead to retain Caballero.
Lampard confirmed ahead of kick-off at the King Power Stadium that it had not been easy to leave out the most expensive keeper in the world, revealing it was a “decision for today”. “With goalkeepers it is a decision you don’t take lightly and you have to look at what it means,” he told the club’s official website.
“They are very close and they work hard together each day but it is one I felt I would make for this game and I trust in Willy, he trains brilliantly and is a great professional. I trust in them both but it is a decision for today.”
Reece James and Tammy Abraham were both fit to start for the visitors, while Antonio Rudiger was in line to play his 100th game for the club. As for third-placed Leicester, Jamie Vardy returned to the starting line-up but Wilfred Ndidi was a late withdrawal, the midfielder forced to drop out of the team after suffering a problem in the warm-ups.
Hamza Choudhury took his place as Brendan Rodgers’ side aimed to move 11 points clear of the team directly below them in the table.