Can we end the season with Lampard’s first trophy?!
Chelsea take on Arsenal in the FA Cup final at an empty Wembley stadium on Saturday as the season comes to a close. Arsenal beat Sheffield United 1-2 and Man City 2-0 putting in very solid defensive performances on both occasions to win the game. Arteta might be Pep’s disciple but he has been channeling his inner Mourinho over the last few weeks as Arsenal picked up some good results. Against Man City the Gunners did well in the first half to score their goals and then stood off and defended for 45 minutes with a very solid performance. A solid defence and Arsenal are not two things you associate with each other but Arteta has worked his magic with the tools he has at hand. Arsenal have won 7 games including some big wins against Liverpool, and Wolves, drawn 1 and lost 4 since football returned. Arsenal scored 20 goals in that time while conceding 12 goals. Good going forward, not as creative, suspect defensively.
Chelsea go into this game having beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 last Sunday and securing top four and Champions League football with that win. Similar to when we played Arsenal in the Europa League final last season we were fighting for top four and secured it before heading to Baku. Similar to Baku Arsenal needed to win the game to secure European football, in Baku it was the Champions League while tomorrow it will be the Europa League. If Chelsea win then the Europa League place would go to Wolves and Wolves would for sure deserve it over Arsenal. The parallels are there but unlike the final last year we don’t have Eden Hazard although we do have a team that works better together. We have played Arsenal twice this season beating them at the Emirates 1-2 while drawing 2-2 at Stamford Bridge. I expect an open game and it will be intense.
Chelsea Team Preview
Chelsea go into this game with Kante and Willian back in contention but Loftus-Cheek will miss out with an injury. Caballero will most likely start in goal with Kepa probably heading out the door during the current transfer window. I expect we will keep the back three even if Kante is fit. Reece James and Alonso as the wing backs with Rudiger, Zouma, and Azpilicueta as the centre backs. Kante and Kovacic as the midfield two. Pulisic should start on the left while I would Mount could start on the right, Giroud should start up front. Everyone will have a role to play with Giroud relishing to get another trophy from the grips of Arsenal.
Arsenal Team Preview
Arsenal go into this game with a game plan which will be similar to the one they used against Liverpool and City. Take their chances and defend solidly. Martinez has been great since Leno was injured and looks like a solid wall to break down. Mustafi is injured so Holding will probably come in as Arsenal play a 3 at the back with Tierney and Luiz as the other defenders. Bellerin and Niles should be the wing backs with Ceballos and Xhaka in the middle. Ceballos has been great as well looking like his creative self. The front three of Pepe, Aubameyang and Lacazette should all start and I really don’t need to talk about how deadly they are. Luiz in particular was brilliant against City as well.
Starting XI Prediciton
Two managers searching for their first trophy, both very young in the managerial game. A London Derby, that is always feisty this should be a good game to watch and one with many goals. As always though, COME ON YOU BLUES!!!