FA Cup Final Preview: Arsenal – Chelsea

FA Cup Final Preview: Arsenal – Chelsea

The derby of London between bitter rivals Arsenal and Chelsea will take place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, July 31st. The Gunners are looking for revenge for a heavy 4-1 defeat in the Europa League final last season and are hoping to clinch their 14th FA Cup. Chelsea, on the other hand, are chasing their 9th FA Cup (FAC), while both Mikel Arteta and Frank Lampard are fighting for their first trophy in managerial career.

Form and H2H Record

Following a disappointing league campaign, Arsenal still have a chance to book a European place through the FA Cup. They won this competition 13 times, which is an all-time record, and winning the 14th trophy would directly send them to the group stage of the Europa League.  The fierce rivals have met in two FA Cup finals recently, and both matches finished 2-1 for Arsenal. 

The Gunners opened the scoring in both of those FA Cup final H2Hs, which also occurred the in each of their previous four rounds in the competition this season.In even 16 of Arsenal’s 20 FA Cup final matches that produced goals, the team who scored first won the trophy in the end.

Chelsea have been a real force in FA Cup since the mid-90s as they claimed seven of their eight FA Cuptitlessince 1996/97 onwards. Each of their previous six final winscame via a tight one-goal margin. The Blues lost five FAC finals so far, and it’s interesting that they always conceded the first goal in those defeats. 

Chelsea also scored the opener in each of their five Fa Cupmatches this campaign, and in 13 of their last 14 victories this season. That being said, if they open the scoring here, the trophy will definitely be closer to the Blues. 

On the contrary, though, the two Premier League H2H encounters this season saw the team that scored first fail to secure a victory. 

Hot Streaks and Stats

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Jorginho are the players to watch here. Aubameyang scored 11 match openers for the Gunners this year, including one against the Blues. On the other hand, netted six penalties this term for Chelsea and scored in both H2H duels against Arsenal.

The previous three FA Cup H2H clashes finished 2-1, either way. Chelsea scored first in 32 of their 45 domestic matches this time around. Of Arsenal 45 domestic matches in this campaign, we saw a 1-0 result at halftime in 22. 

Injuries

Both teams have injury-related problems, but it seems that Arsenal have bigger ones. Mikel Arteta cannot count on three defenders: Calum Chambers (knee), Pablo Mari (ankle), and Shkodran Mustafi (muscle), while the first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno is still recovering from a knee injury he sustained in June and will likely miss this tilt. Emiliano Martinez, who impressed during his time at the goal, will continue to serve between the sticks. Prospect Martinelli is still out with a knee injury, while Matteo Guendouzi will not be included as he and manager Mikel Arteta are currently not in good relations. Guendouzi will probably leave Arsenal during the summer.

Frank Lampard will also be without several players, but none of them is a regular first-teamer, so their absence shouldn’t be felt here. Promising midfielder Billy Gilmour is unavailable with a knee injury, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also sidelined.

Game Prediction

It’s going to be the first time in history the FA Cup finals will be played without fans, and there is no doubt it will affect the players, just like it did since the restart of the season. Still, the bettors from around the world probably noticed that we have more goals since football returned, and when we take recent H2H duels into consideration, we can expect to see goals in this one. 

Even five of the previous six H2Hs produced goals on both sides and over 2.5 goals. Some online bookmakers are offering up to 1.75 odds on both teams to score, which is an excellent opportunity for the bettors to make a profit. When it comes to odds on the winner, Arsenal can be found from 3.40 to 3.60, while the odds on Chelsea to win are from 2.10 to 2.20.

1.75
Over 2,5 goals
Arsenal – Chelsea
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