FA CUP FINALS – PREVIEW
ARSENAL VS CHELSEA : Antonio Conte will look to add to the Premier League title to an impressive first season as the manager of the Blues, while Arsene Wenger would like to salvage some pride in otherwise forgetful season for the Gunners as Chelsea and Arsenal go head-to-head at Wembley on Saturday. For the first time in two decades Arsenal have failed to qualify for the Champions League. The uncertainty around the Wenger’s future remains a hot topic in the match which seems to be do-or-die for him, with Board meeting due next week.
Arsenal face a defensive crisis and are down to bare bones ahead of the final with Gabriel ruled out with a knee injury and Laurent Koscielny suspended after being red-carded against Everton last weekend. Shkodran Mustafi is also a doubt. Chelsea who have benefitted for much of the season with one of the shortest injury lists in the league and Conte should have a full squad to choose from.
Arsenal upset the odds in their FA Cup semi-final, though they needed an extra time winner from, almost inevitably Alexis Sanchez.Chelsea on the other hand beat Tottenham efficiently after early hiccups. Although Chelsea’s record in the FA Cup has been excellent in the last two decades with six victories, it is Arsenal who have dominated more recently, winning twice in last three seasons and are tied for most (12) wins overall with Manchester United.
Chelsea will be the clear favourites on Saturday to seal a league and cup double. If they play like they have done for the majority of the season then they should have too much for Arsenal. However, should the Gunners do what they did to Chelsea in September then they may have a chance.
Players to watch out for: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Our Prediction: Chelsea win, but look out for Arsenal.