The big day is here! Chelsea take on rivals Arsenal tonight in the Europa League final which will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Date: 29th May 2019
Time: 21:00 CET
Venue: Baku Olympic Stadium, Baku
The Blues are already sure of their place in the elite European competition next season but will still want to win their first trophy under Maurizio Sarri having lost their first chance in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City earlier on.
Arsenal, on the other hand, need to win the trophy if they are to secure Champions League football next season having finished fifth in the Premier League, just a point away from fourth. Three-time winner Unai Emery is not new to success in the competition and that is quite comforting for the Gunners fans to hear.
Chelsea Team News
The Blues go into their biggest fixture of the season with some major injury concerns. On top of all is French midfielder N’Golo Kante who is still a doubt for the match together. Rudiger, Hudson-Odoi, and Loftus-Cheek are all out for the final.
From Greece in September to Azerbaijan in May…
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 29, 2019
Kepa will be between the sticks for Chelsea with captain Azpilicueta and Alonso on the flanks together with Christensen and Luiz at centre-back positions.
The three midfielders chosen by Maurizio Sarri are expected to be Kovacic, Jorginho, and Barkley.
In attack, star player Eden Hazard will start on the left wing with Willian on the right and World Cup winning Frenchman Olivier Giroud to lead the line-up front.
Predicted lineup (4-3-3)
Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Luiz, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Giroud, Hazard
Arsenal Team News
Aaron Ramsey out with a hamstring injury and set to join Juventus in the summer, Denis Suarez suffering a problem to his groin as well as both Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding who went through ligament injuries are not expected to play again this season and will obviously miss out on the final.
It's all been about this.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 29, 2019
Emery will start with Leno in goal, together with Sokratis, Koscielny, and Monreal at centre-back positions. Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac will be the pair to start at defensive full-back positions.
Xhaka and Torreira should be the ones at holding midfield.
Ozil is expected to be given the nod and start behind the two strikers Lacazette and Aubameyang.
Predicted lineup (3-4-1-2)
Leno; Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Torreira, Kolasinac; Ozil; Aubameyang, Lacazette
Tonight’s match will be the 194th time the two sides meet with the Gunners relatively in front in terms of wins when it comes to the head-to-head record. In fact Arsenal have won 75 matches against Chelsea with Sarri’s side currently on 61 wins in the same head-to-head.
On 56 other occasions, the outcome between the two sides was that of a tie.
Chelsea finished the league season the strongest out of the teams competing for top four spots, securing third on the final day with a 0-0 draw at Leicester. They drew both legs of their semi-final against Frankfurt but had the bottle to tuck their penalties away to progress at the expense of the Bundesliga side.
Arsenal have responded well after losing three league games on the trot in April, winning three of their last four, including away victories at Valencia and Burnley. They’ve lost twice in the Europa League this season, while Chelsea are yet to taste defeat.
Here’s how each side has fared in their last five matches:
|Leicester 0-0 Chelsea (12/5)||Burnley 1-3 Arsenal (12/5)|
|Chelsea 3-0 Watford (5/5)||Valencia 2-4 Arsenal (9/5)|
|Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (28/4)||Arsenal 1-1 Brighton (5/5)|
|Chelsea 2-2 Burnley (22/4)||Arsenal 3-1 Valencia (2/5)|
|Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea (14/4)||Leicester 3-0 Arsenal (28/4)|
*Odds are subject to change