Arsenal vs Chelsea: FA Cup final preview

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Arsenal and Chelsea will contest the 2019-20 FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Both London teams defied the odds in beating Manchester City and Manchester United in the semi-finals to setup an all-London affair in the final.

Chelsea wrapped up a Champions League finish on Sunday by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to finish fourth. This proved to be a rather impressive debut season for Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge considering the transfer embargo the club was under.

If the former Derby County manager and Chelsea playing legend can take home a piece of silverware on Sunday it will go a long way to proving the doubters wrong after he was appointed last summer.

To reach the final, Chelsea had been on top of Manchester United in the last round prior to Olivier Giroud‘s opener in the 11th minute of first-half stoppage time. The Blues doubled their lead immediately after the restart when David de Gea spilled Mason Mount’s long-range effort into his own net. They went on to win 3-1 in the end.

Meanwhile, the Gunners were 2-0 winners over City with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring 20 minutes into the game and 20 minutes from the end, despite Mikel Arteta’s side only seeing 30% of the possession.

The Spaniard has been in charge of the North London club even shorter than this weekend’s opponent as he was only appointed back in December following the dismissal of Unai Emery.

Arsenal had initially made a shaky start once the season resumed before beating Wolves 2-0 and Liverpool 2-1 prior to their impressive FA Cup performance.

They will be looking to win a record 13th FA Cup on Sunday, though the bookmakers have Chelsea as the narrow favourites.

Team News

Emi Martinez will remain in goal for Arsenal with Bernd Leno still not back in training. The tall Argentine has been quite impressive in between the sticks over the past couple of weeks.

The Gunners will be without defensive trio Shkodran Mustafi (thigh), Pablo Mari (ankle) and Calum Chambers (knee) through injury, as well as attacker Gabriel Martinelli (knee).

As for Chelsea, N’Golo Kante faces a race to return from his thigh injury. Should the French international be fit in time, one wouldn’t expect him to go straight into the starting lineup.

Willian may miss the final for the Blues. The Brazilian was injured prior to the final Premier League game of the season, but also appears to be headed to Arsenal on a free transfer later this month too.

Frank Lampard will also be without youngster Billy Gilmour following his recent knee surgery.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea

Chelsea finished 10 points above their rivals in the Premier League this season but were already seven points ahead when Arteta was appointed. The Blues did also do the double over Arsenal – a 2-1 win at the Emirates in what was the Spaniard’s third game in charge and then a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in January.

However, recent wins for Arsenal over the last two Premier League champions shows they are capable of beating anyone on their day. Mikel Arteta’s tactics certainly look like they’re taking shape and the absence of Willian and Kante for the Blues would be a double blow.

Not a fan of Frank Lampard’s defence at both Chelsea and Derby County previously, I can see the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette winning this game on the counter-attack.

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