Chelsea are set to name Thibaut Courtois as their goalkeeper for the FA Cup final, despite the fact that Willy Caballero has been an ever-present throughout their cup campaign.
Caballero has conceded just two goals in six games for Chelsea on their way to Saturday's final, but regular first choice keeper Courtois believes that he will be in goal against Manchester United at Wembley.
“I have heard that it is the intention to let me play,” said the Belgian, as quoted by the Mirror.
The decision is an acknowledgement from manager Antonio Conte that this match could be the one that decides his fate as Chelsea manager. After a 5th place finish in the Premier League, only silverware would salvage some positivity from this season.
“Yes of course. It’s the final, everyone wants to play," Caballero said when asked if he was concerned about the cup final selection. “There is not an agreement in place saying I will definitely play all the cup games.
“I am always ready to play, but I am prepared if he chooses Thibaut. It doesn’t have to be fair — it’s the decision of the boss, and I have to respect what he chooses for this game.”
This would not be the first time that a manager has lost faith with the goalkeeper that got his team to the final. Costel Pantilimon played every game for Manchester City on their way to the 2013 FA Cup final, only to be replaced by Joe Hart for the final, which City lost to Wigan.
By contrast, Arsene Wenger kept faith with his cup goalkeeper David Ospina for last year's final and the decision paid off as the Colombian played well and Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1.