Christian Pulisic has had an excellent debut season for Chelsea, at times even breathtaking, but he’s also had to deal with several injuries, including one that took him out of contention for several months at the start of the calendar year. Combined with the series of minor issues from his last season at Borussia Dortmund, it does create a slight bit of concern as far as his overall fitness is concerned. The best of the best are not only consistently great, but are also consistently available and fit for selection. Pulisic has a bit of work to do in both regards, though at just 21 years of age, there’s not reason to think he won’t get there.
In any case, Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard cited another small injury for Pulisic’s recent absences from the starting lineup. Those never sounded like major concerns — nor were they, judging by how he carved up Liverpool’s tired and distracted legs — and they certainly won’t affect his availability for Saturday’s FA Cup final.
“I never had a real issue. I’m 100% fit.”
While Chelsea got fairly lucky in terms of injury issues during Project Restart — N’Golo Kanté aside — exercising a bit of precaution with Pulisic was not a bad idea. We probably could’ve used a bit more of it, in fact, resting the likes of Willian and the aforementioned Kanté before we were forced to rest them via injury.
But hopefully any minor niggles have been worked out over the past week. We’re going to need everyone at their best this weekend. Arsenal may have finished in mid-table, but anything can happen in a one-off final, especially against the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Pulisic played together with the striker for 2.5 years at BVB, becoming good friends in the process, and knows just how dangerous the 27-goal man can be, even at 31.
“I know him quite well. He is incredible, the way he gets in good areas. He’s always dangerous, so we are definitely going to have to be cautious of that, and they have some other good players. But he is definitely one guy that you have to look out for.
“We’ll always be good friends. I played together with him for a long time. Right now, we are definitely focused and want to win. It is going to be a good battle; and not so much on the pitch, but we will always be friends off the pitch.”
Obviously, friendships will be put aside for those 90 minutes (or more if necessary). The various connections between the Blues and the Gunners (David Luiz, Giroud, etc.) will only add extra spice to the proceedings.
Pulisic has apparently told Auba that “You can score one goal but you can’t win!”
No, no he cannot.
“The final comes down to us against them, who is more ready to play on the day. Obviously, it gives us confidence that we’ve been in good form, we’ve been playing well, and we’re going to try and bring that into the game. In the end, it is one game, and in a final, anything can happen.”
-Christian Pulisic; source: ESPN
Anything can happen. But we know what must happen.