The match is the last opportunity for Mikel Arteta to lead the Arsenal team to win a title before the 2020-2021 season commences. And it is also another opportunity for Frank Lampard to prove to Chelsea fans that they have found the football manager they have been waiting for.
What is at stake?
Since Lampard took over Chelsea prior to the 2019-2020 season, there has been a lot of skepticism about his appointment and choice of players coupled with the fact that the club didn’t have the opportunity to do business in the last two transfer windows due to the UEFA transfer ban slammed on them in 2019.
However, the former Chelsea and Manchester City star found a way to manage the team well enough that he was able to secure a Champions League spot and lead the team to his first FA Cup final as a manager.
As it stands, it is very likely that Chelsea will crash out of the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League on August 8 when they play the second leg of the tournament’s round of 16 against Bayern Munich. They lost the first leg 0-3 at Stamford Bridge prior to the coronavirus break. Hence, this FA Cup final is the surest means of winning a title for the first time as Chelsea’s manager.
On the other hand, Mikel Arteta has also raised expectations of Arsenal fans and they would expect him to get them this season’s FA Cup for all their troubles. Just like Lampard, this is Mikel’s first opportunity to coach a team in an FA Cup final and he would want to win it in order to qualify the team for next season’s Europa League.
Lampard was good enough to push Chelsea to a 4th place finish on the league table which automatically qualifies the team for next season’s UEFA Champions League. But Arteta could only help Arsenal to finish 8th on the league table and the team depends solely on winning the FA Cup on Saturday in order to make it to Europa League.
The interesting part is that, on the road to this year’s FA Cup final, the two London clubs defeated two Manchester clubs – United and City, which were favorite contenders for the cup. Hence, football fans across the world should expect to see a match that will be won from the bench.
Arsenal Team News
Mikel Arteta will go into this final with a long list of injured players which include Shkodran Mustafi, Gabriel Martinelli, Calum Chambers, and Pablo Mari.
Though Arsenal first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno who got injured in June is on the road to recovery he is not fully fit to mount the goalpost on Sunday.
On the other hand, as at last Check, the embattled Arsenal’s midfielders, Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi are injuries free but they are most likely not to have any part to play in the Saturday’s game.
Arsenal’s FA Cup form: WWWWW
Arsenal’s form (all competitions): DLWWLW
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Holding, Luiz, Tierney; Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Chelsea Team News
Frank Lampard may face Mikel Arteta without his most tested and trusted midfielder N’Golo Kante who has missed Chelsea’s last 6 matches. He was however spotted in training but it is not certain that Lampard will risk playing him on Saturday as he is still trying to improve his fitness level.
Besides Kante, the manager of Chelsea doesn’t have any major injury worry. The only Chelsea player who might not be seen close to the touchline during the match is Billy Gilmour, he is still trying to recover from his injury.
Chelsea’s FA Cup form: WWWWW
Chelsea’s form (all competitions): WLWWLW
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Caballero; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount; Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Giroud
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Head to Head
- In the last 13 FA Cup games between Chelsea and Arsenal, Chelsea had managed to win one which was an FA Cup Semi-final match in 2009.
- Besides FA Cup games, in other tournaments where Chelsea met with Arsenal, Chelsea had only lost two in 10 of such games.
- From the early 2000s until date, Arsenal played Chelsea in two FA Cup finals and won the two – 2002 and 2017.
- Arsenal has won the FA Cup a record 13 times, 5 times more than Chelsea.
- The last time Chelsea won the FA Cup was in 2018 while the last time Arsenal won the cup was in 2017.
- Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta has won the FA Cup with Arsenal as a player while Chelsea’s Frank Lampard has also won the FA Cup with Chelsea as a player.