Chelsea will take on Arsenal in the Europa League final in Baku on Wednesday 29 May in what will be the first of two all-English European finals before Liverpool’s clash with Tottenham the following Saturday.
The Blues have already secured Champions League football after finishing third in the Premier League, but the Gunners’ hopes of qualifying for Europe’s elite club competition next season hinge on success in Azerbaijan.
Unai Emery has a famous history in the Europa League, winning the competition three seasons in a row during his time with Sevilla, while Chelsea are hoping for a first triumph under Maurizio Sarri in his second cup final with the club, having lost the Carabao Cup to Manchester City in February.
Check out 90min’s preview of the clash below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Wednesday 29 May|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Baku Olympic Stadium, Baku|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport/BT Sport YouTube|
N’Golo Kante missed the second leg of the Eintracht Frankfurt tie and was also absent from the goalless draw at Leicester and remains a major doubt for the final.
Antonio Rudiger’s season was ended after he underwent surgery on his left knee meniscus, with the Germany international set for rehab over the summer. Callum Hudson-Odoi is in a similar position after rupturing his Achilles tendon against Burnley in April.
Outgoing midfield star Aaron Ramsey will miss out for Arsenal, while Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck all have long-term issues and aren’t expected to feature. Konstantinos Mavropanos is a doubt after picking up a knock against Burnley.
Mesut Ozil, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Lucas Torreira are all expected to be fit for the final, despite missing out on the 3-1 victory at Turf Moor.
|Chelsea||Arrizabalaga; Zappacosta, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Emerson; Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Higuain, Hazard.|
|Arsenal||Cech; Koscielny, Sokratis, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Torreira, Kolasinac; Ozil; Aubameyang, Lacazette.|
Head to Head Record
Arsenal are slightly ahead in the head to head chart, but it’s incredibly tight. The north Londoners have 37 victories to Chelsea’s 33, while 30 games have ended in draws.
They last met in Europe in a Champions League quarter final tie in the 2003/04 season. After a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, featuring goals from Eidur Gudjohnsen and Robert Pires, it was Chelsea who secured a semi final spot as strikes from Frank Lampard and Wayne Bridge cancelled out Jose Antonio Reyes’ earlier effort.
The two teams claimed a win apiece in the Premier League fixtures this term, Chelsea triumphing 3-2 at Stamford Bridge before Arsenal got revenge with a 2-0 success at the Emirates.
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 games.
|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)|
While Chelsea’s record in the Europa League this season is formidable, Unai Emery’s history in the competition is perhaps scarier for Blues fans.
Arsenal dominated Chelsea during the 2-0 win at the Emirates, managing to completely nullify Eden Hazard, something they’ll need to do again in Baku.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been brilliant towards the end of the season and they may make the difference on the night.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal