Skip to main content

Ake in line to start for Chelsea in FA Cup semi-final

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has suggested that Nathan Ake will get the nod to deputise in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham for Gary Cahill, who has been hospitalized this week with gastroenteritis.

Ake grew in stature during a loan spell at Bournemouth earlier in the season, making 12 appearances in all competitions before being recalled to Stamford Bridge in January. 

The defender featured in Chelsea's previous FA Cup wins over Brentford and Wolves earlier in the competition and is poised to face Spurs at Wembley.    

"He deserves to have this chance to play because he is showing me in all this period, always a great commitment," said Conte. 

"He worked very hard. His behaviours are great, fantastic, and he never said nothing [regarding a lack of opportunities].

"Don't forget that Ake was playing every game with Bournemouth, and he wanted to come and to stay with us to try to work together and to help us to fight for the title. I think he's a good player and I think he's ready to have this opportunity, to have this chance.

"He deserves this opportunity and I trust him. I have no problem to take this decision."

Cahill has played in all 32 Premier League games for Chelsea this term, forming a formidable back three alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and David Luiz.

"In this case I think for this position Ake has the right characteristic to be the substitute to Gary," said Conte.

"I think that we have to enjoy this moment, because this moment is great for everyone."