Arsenal have an opportunity to remedy their already bad season as a win over Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley later today may put a scanty smile on the faces of Gunners fans. Meanwhile, Antonio Conte is also aiming for the double to wrap an impressive debut season off.
The Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 1996/1997 season and the outcome of the game today may determine Arsene Wenger’s future. The French tactician has remained coy over his future with the Club and it is being speculated that he might call it quit at the end of this season.
Meanwhile, the Blues conquered the Premier League in a grand style, and the coming of Antonio Conte has steered a formation revolution in England. Conte stuck with a core of 15 or 16 players but tweaked Chelsea’s formation and style that used to be the norm. Chelsea now plays with three defenders and two wing backs.
Arsenal defense is thread bare with Laurent Koscielny out suspended, Gabriel injured and both Mustafi and Gibbs doubtful over fitness issues.
Wenger tweaked his formation and plays like Chelsea but the absence of some key defenders may see him resort to playing with a back four. We expect Rob Holding to partner Per Mertesacker or Mustafi at the heart of defense.
For Chelsea, they have a fully fit squad of their senior team and will field their strongest squad. Kante missed the Blues game against Middlesbrough and was benched against West Brom but the he returned against Watford.
Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Holding, Monreal, Xhaka, Elneny, Ozil, Iwobi, Welbeck and Sanchez
Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luis, Moses, Alonso, Matic, Kante, Hazard, Pedro and Costa
Chelsea 2 – Arsenal 1
What the managers say
Antonio Conte said:
“When you stay for a long time at the same team – we’re talking about a great team, not a small team – we must consider him like one of the best managers in history. He won a lot.
“When you stay a lot for a long time in the same team, someone can forget this. But Arsene Wenger is, for sure, a really good manager for me.
“For sure, I don’t [believe] that tomorrow will be the last game for Arsene. I think he deserves to work with Arsenal because he showed, in these 20 years, he is a good manager. He did a good job. Only this season they missed out on the Champions League.”
“It will not be my last match because whatever happens I will stay in football.
“Would it be a nice farewell? No, what I want is to win the next game. I love to win and I love to do well for my club. I want to win the cup for my club.
“It’s not about me, it’s about us winning the trophy and giving everything to achieve it.”