FA Cup Final Preview: Arsenal v Chelsea

Antonio Conte Arsene Wenger

Arsenal will have one last chance for silverware this season while Chelsea can do the double when the London rivals meet in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

FA Cup Final
Date: 28 May 2017
Kick-off: OOH30 HKT
Venue: Wembley Stadium

Referee: A. Taylor
Assistants: G. Beswick, M. Perry
Fourth official: R. Madley

Head-to-head summary:

Arsenal 167 63 48 56
Chelsea 167 56 48 56

Previous encounter:

Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal 04/02/17 (Premier League)

Chelsea goalscorers: Marcos Alonso (13′), E. Hazard (53′), Fàbregas (85′)

Arsenal goalscorers: O. Giroud (90’+1)

Players to watch:

Arsenal will be hoping star forward Alexis Sanchez hits his stride against the Blues. The Chilean has netted 29 goals across all competitions this season.

Chelsea’s main goal threats all season have been Diego Costa and Eden Hazard. The pair have bagged 38 goals between them and should once again be the main focus of the Blues’ attack.

Team form and manager quotes:

After suffering the disappointment of missing out on the Premier League’s top four, the Gunners have put together a strong run over the last few weeks as they build towards what they hope will be a season climax capped with silverware.

Manager Arsene Wenger’s charges are on a five-game winning streak, having beaten Manchester United, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, and Everton in their last league games of the season.

“I want to win the Cup, because I think the team has redressed very well the situation on the sporting side. That will be a good crowning of what we have done in the last two months,” said Wenger, according to the official FA website.

“The team has given so much, I think they really want to win something.

“On top of that, if I have some benefit as well, it’s OK, but that’s not my main worry.”

Meanwhile, the newly-crowned Premier League champions are aiming to add a second trophy to their cabinet for the season, after manager Antonio Conte brought the trophy back to Stamford Bridge with a record-breaking campaign that saw the Blues win 30 games.

Chelsea are also on a terrific run of form, winning their last seven games on the trot, including the 4-2 win over Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-finals last month. Conte has, however, warned against complacency ahead of the clash with Arsenal.

“For Chelsea it is very important to keep the right concentration. In this aspect we could start as underdogs because we won the league and we celebrated winning it,” the Italian told his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“It was right to enjoy the moment, and on the other side we face a team who has lost the chance to play in Champions League. They have only this to go for this season. We must retain great focus and desire.

“On this aspect I trust a lot in my players, they have shown this season they can be ready to reach the big target of winning the league.

“Tomorrow will be a tough game for both teams but we are ready to fight.”

Team news:

Shkodran Mustafi is unlikely to feature for Arsenal due to a concussion, while Kieran Gibbs and Alexis Sanchez look set to make the starting line-up after initial fitness doubts.

Conte declared during his press conference that he has a full-strength squad from which to pick his team. He said: “All the players are available, I have to make the best decision for the team but all the players are fit and this is good news for us.”