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Why did Chelsea drop Mendy for Kepa? Tuchel says struggling goalkeeper injured vs Dinamo Zagreb

19:42 GMT+3 06/09/2022
Kepa Mendy Chelsea GFX
Thomas Tuchel has dropped Edouard Mendy for Chelsea's Champions League opener against Dinamo Zagreb, with Kepa Arrizabalaga starting instead.
  • No. 1 goalkeeper in poor form
  • Kepa given chance to shine
  • Tuchel says Mendy hurt - but still on bench

WHAT HAPPENED? Despite Tuchel defending Mendy to the media over the weekend, he has started Kepa on Tuesday to ignite further speculation of a goalkeeper controversy. He said the move was injury related but also admitted Mendy needed a break amid poor form. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, meanwhile, will make his Blues debut following his deadline-day move from Barcelona.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Kepa gets his first action of the season, and he has a chance to show Tuchel he deserves to be the starter. Aubameyang will be playing with a protective mask after suffering a jaw injury during a home invasion recently.

WHAT THEY SAID: "He was a bit unlucky in the last games and on top of this Edou has problems with the patella tendon in his knee so he not 100% fit at the moment so we took the chance to give him a break and give Kepa the confidence for this game," Tuchel told BT Sport.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

THE VERDICT:

Auba is back!

Some sarcasm after the Mendy-Bowen incident...

Kepa's turn!

WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? Tuchel will be hoping his side get off to a strong start in Europe on Tuesday night ahead of their return to Premier League action against Fulham on Saturday.