Chelsea vs Arsenal FA Cup Final Match Preview
Chelsea will win a domestic double in Antonio Conte’s first season in charge of the team if they down Arsenal at Wembley Stadium in Saturday’s FA Cup final.
Meanwhile, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger could become the first manager to win football’s oldest tournament seven times.
A victory would also be a big fillip for Arsenal after they failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 years after a disappointing 2016-17 Premier League season in which they finished fifth.
Despite ending their Premier League campaign with seven victories from eight matches ahead of another appearance in the FA Cup final, there is a lingering feeling at the Emirates Stadium that the uncertainty over Arsene Wenger and the ownership battle between Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmnaov will only lead to the club falling behind their rivals.
On the other hand, the Italian has shown that he can be sentimental – his use of John Terry in Chelsea’s final two Premier League matches has shown that – but Conte is a leader who knows when the time is right to be ruthless and there are unlikely to be any alterations from the team he has selected for many of their victories throughout the season.
He still has a couple of selection dilemmas to contend with regarding the centre of his midfield and who features in his front three alongside Eden Hazard, but Conte is aware of the magnitude of achieving a domestic double in his first season in English football.
The form of Diego Costa will be of small concern to Conte with his top goalscorer having under-performed during the second half of the campaign, but he may have found a replacement in Michy Batshuayi who has scored four goals in his last 126 minutes on the pitch.
Arsenal: If reports are to be believed, Wenger will opt to start David Ospina in place of Petr Cech for the game at the national stadium.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is attempting to prove his fitness ahead of a potential start on one of the flanks, but Alexis Sanchez should be fit as he continues to carry a knock picked up against Stoke City earlier this month.
Wenger must decide between Giroud and Danny Welbeck for a place in attack alongside Ozil and Sanchez, while Mustafi will hold out hope of taking a place in the squad in the build-up to kickoff.
Chelsea: As well as having a decision to make between Costa and Batshuayi, Conte must also make a call regarding who starts in midfield between Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas.
Conte revealed at his pre-match press conference that he has no injury concerns ahead of the game.
Arsenal possible starting lineup: Ospina, Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal, Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud
Chelsea possible starting lineup: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso, Pedro, Hazard, Costa
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Date: 27th May, Saturday
Time: 17:30 GMT/12:30 ET/20:00 IST
TV Coverage: BT Sports 2, Fox Sports, Sony Six
Online Stream: www.Ronaldo7.net
Head to Head
- Total Matches Played:- 190
- Chelsea won:- 62
- Arsenal won :- 73
- Matches Drawn:- 35