Frank Lampard Declares N’Golo Kante, Willian Fit for FA Cup Final

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Chelsea fans recieved some great news, via manager Frank Lampard, on the eve of the FA Cup Final. Two star players that were strong doubts for the cup clash, Willian and N’Golo Kante, are fit and available for selection. There is some bad news however, as midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek joins fellow midfield man Billy Gilmour on the long term injury absentee list.

While Willian and Kante could play, it still seems unlikely that either, or both, will be in the first team.

While Chelsea were already slightly favored to win this one, getting two more key players available for selection will boost their odds even more. At most sports books, you’ll see an Arsenal win priced at about 5/2 with Chelsea backed to hoist the trophy around 5/4.

“N’Golo Kante and Willian are in the squad so we’ll see if they’re fit to be in the starting 11,” said Lampard.

“Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a small problem he picked up yesterday so he’s out of the game.”

Willian, who missed Championship Sunday with an undisclosed injury, could be playing his final domestic game with the club, as his contract will soon expire, and his future beyond that remains uncertain. He’s been linked with a move away to several clubs, including the one on the opposite touchline.

Meanwhile Christian Pulisic has recently missed some time for no clear specific reason, and speculation had mounted as to why he missed the last round of the FA Cup and only came on late against Liverpool. Yesterday however, the American said that he didn’t have any real injury issues, and that he’s now good to go for Saturday’s trophy game.

FA Cup Final FYIs

Kickoff: Aug. 1, Wembley Stadium, 5:30 pm

Team News:   Arsenal    Chelsea

Starting XI Predictions:   Arsenal     Chelsea

Head to Head: Arsenal wins  76   Draws 59   Chelsea wins 65

TV/Stream: Sky Sports/Sky Go (UK)   None/ESPN+ (U.S.)

Prediction: Chelsea 2, Arsenal 1

Yes, this competition is certainly Arsenal’s house, so to speak, historically, but we’re picking Lampard’s side to hoist the trophy.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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