Arsenal vs Chelsea: FA Cup spoils to be settled by London Derby

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Gunners looking to salvage season against champions of England

Arsène Wenger can become the first manager in British football history to win the FA Cup 7 times. To write his name into English football folklore, however, his Arsenal side must beat newly-crowned Premier League champions Chelsea at Wembley.

Arsenal’s season ended in disappointment after they failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in two decades. The Gunners, 12-time FA Cup winners, must lift the famous trophy for a lucky 13th time to end a disappointing campaign on a high.

Opponents Chelsea have other ideas and will be determined to complete a first league and cup double since 2010. If Antonio Conte wins at Wembley he will be the 5th Italian manager to win the FA Cup, and his Blues side have the advantage of a clean bill of health and rested legs after wrapping up the title in convincing fashion. Arsenal in contrast face a defensive crisis with Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi all missing out.

Whether or not The Gunners win the FA Cup for a record 13th time, this might be the last time that Arsène Wenger stands in the dugout for Arsenal Football Club.

Team News

Arsenal

Ruled out: Cazorla, Gabriel

Doubtful: Mustafi, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Suspended: Koscielny

Likely starting XI (3-4-2-1): Cech; Holding, Mustafi, Monreal; Bellerín, Xhaka, Ramsey, Gibbs; Sánchez, Özil; Welbeck

Chelsea

No injury concerns

Likely starting XI (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Matic, Kanté, Alonso; Pedro, Hazard, Costa

Key Men

Alexis Sánchez was the only Premier League player to register double figures for goals and assists in 2016/2017. The Chilean has been a revelation in an otherwise forgettable season for Arsenal and their hopes will rest on the dynamic attacker. Aaron Ramsey netted the winner in 2014’s FA Cup final and in Arsenal’s new formation, the Welsh midfielder has license to join attacks at will. His experience in two cup final triumphs in the last 3 years could prove vital for Wenger’s men.

PFA Player of The Year N’Golo Kanté has transformed Chelsea’s midfield into a highly productive unit with his ability to snuff out attacks and make space for colleagues. His tireless work allows Eden Hazard, Cesc Fàbregas and Pedro to cause havoc behind burly striker Diego Costa. The Spaniard is rumoured to be leaving the club and has always enjoyed getting under the skin of Arsenal. One more provocative display from Costa could lead his side to FA Cup glory.

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Key Match Stats

  • This will be the second FA Cup final contested between London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea.
  • Arsenal are undefeated in 21 of their last 22 matches in the FA Cup.
  • Chelsea haven’t lost any of their last 4 FA Cup finals.
  • Pedro has scored 4 goals and assisted 2 en route to the FA Cup final for Chelsea.
  • Alexis Sánchez has contributed to 44 goals this season (29 goals and 15 assists.)

Key Picks

Arsenal are unsurprisingly the outsiders on ClickaBet at 4.25 to win the FA Cup Final against Chelsea. Considering their excellent record in finals at Wembley, though, it might be worth a flutter.

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