Chelsea’s impressive 2-0 win over Wolverhampton this past Sunday solidified their spot into Champions League. The Blues headed into their final Premier League match needing a tie and exceeded that. Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud each scored to help lead the way in their victory. Frank Lampard’s first season for Chelsea has been a successful one where he has overcome many obstacles such as the transfer ban.
Aside from finishing in a top four spot in the Premier League, Chelsea advanced out of the group stage in Champions League and will be playing against Arsenal in the 139th FA Cup final this Saturday. Chelsea have played Arsenal twice this season with the Blues having the upper hand. Lampard is unbeaten against Mikel Arteta and will aim to continue that trend. Chelsea’s first encounter with the Gunners resulted in 2-0 and followed up with a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
The careers of a few long tenured Chelsea players are nearing an end with the club. Pedro will be departing for AS Roma this upcoming season while the future of Willian still remains to be decided. Willian has mentioned that he wants to remain with Chelsea as he’s looking for a three-year contract, but Chelsea is only willing to offer a two-year deal. The forward is currently dealing with an injury and if he’s forced to sit out of this match, it will be an unfortunate way to say goodbye to a club in which he has loved and played so hard for.
Arsenal’s season hasn’t been up to par with Lampard as the Gunners finished in eighth place and in a position that has them missing out on Champions League and Europa League. Their season started with Unai Emery as manager, who struggled in the first half and was eventually replaced in December by Arteta. The club lost their direction and lacked an identity, but the ex-Arsenal and Everton player has done a good job in his first season. He instilled a new philosophy into the club and believed the club needed more passion and intensity in their game.
While Lampard will be looking for his first trophy as manager with Chelsea, Arteta will have more at stake. A win in the FA Cup final will assure Arsenal a spot in the group stage of the Europa League. The Gunners failed to finish in a position to qualify for Champions League or Europa League. A loss will earn Wolverhampton the final spot for European competition next season. Surely, Arsenal will aim to salvage a season that has been overall disappointing for the Gunners.
Arsenal finished their season on a positive note as they won 3-2 versus Watford, confirming Hornet’s relegation to the Championship.
Each side won in their respective season finale matches and will enter their next fixture with added confidence.
David Luiz will face his ex-club for the third time this season. The centre-back left the Blues last summer after requesting a transfer from the club as he feared he was going to get less playing time under Lampard. Additionally, he wasn’t happy with how Chelsea treated Maurizio Sarri and his departure from the club. This left Luiz in an unsettled position and with less than 24 hours remaining in the transfer market, he was sold to their rivals, Arsenal.
The defender’s first season with Arsenal has had highs and lows, but he will surely look for redemption against his previous club.
Each club will have one goal in mind this Saturday – to win the FA Cup in a North West London Derby encounter, at all costs.
Arteta will be fielding a starting eleven that will feature Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicholas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette. Arsenal are showing good form, winning three of their past four matches in all competitions. They defeated Manchester City 2-0 in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Luiz put in one of his best performances this season.
Aubameyang has been Arsenal’s best player in recent times as he’s contributed on five goals in the past three matches and has been pivotal in their wins. Chelsea’s back line has been their weakness this season and have allowed 54 goals in the Premier League. The club has struggled to defend on set pieces and pick up their man in the final third. They will need to be prepared against their rival’s number nine, Aubameyang.
Chelsea, however, have also shown great form as they have won three of their last four games to finish the season. Giroud has been the Blues’ best player since the restart and has scored six goals in the past seven games in all competitions. The forward has done a great job of replacing Tammy Abraham, who has struggled in the latter half of the season.
The recent play of Christian Pulisic has earned a lot of praise from Lampard and has the wing-man playing with confidence. The forward has been noticeable as he’s played with a high intensity and great motivation. He has contributed in three goals in the past three matches and will look to build on his recent performances.
The pressure will be on Arsenal in this match as they look to save their season and advance to the group stage of the Europa League. They will also look to win their fourteenth FA Cup, which would put them two ahead of Manchester United and keep them in first for most FA Cups won. Chelsea will look to win their ninth FA Cup and help Lampard win his first trophy as a Blues manager. The upper hand goes to a Chelsea side who has had a lot going for them this season and have performed marvellous when asked upon.
The final score will be 2-1 in which Chelsea win’s a nail bitter.
Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal