Arsenal face Chelsea in the 2020 FA Cup Final on Saturday, aiming to get their hands on the last available domestic silverware of the season (excepting the 2019/20 Women’s FA Cup, which will finish some time around the heat death of the universe).
Two of the most successful clubs in the competition’s history face off at Wembley, each with a remarkable six FA Cups this century. Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are chasing a record 14th title in what has been an underwhelming season, with an eighth-placed finish their lowest in 25 years.
Fifty years on from their historic first, Chelsea will be going for their ninth FA Cup and a first over the Gunners in three attempts. Frank Lampard could become the third Blues man to win the Cup as a player and a manager, following on from an impressive top four finish in the league.
When Is Kick Off? Saturday 1 August
What Time Is Kick Off? 17:30 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Wembley Stadium, London
TV Channel/Live Stream? BBC One, BT Sport 1 (UK), fuboTV (US)
Arsenal have a number of long-term injuries in their squad, who will now be working towards next season. Bernd Leno, Gabriel Martinelli, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers remain injured, while Shkodran Mustafi will miss the final after coming off injured in the semi-final win against Manchester City.
Elsewhere, Héctor Bellerín is back in training after being left out as a precaution last week. The Spaniard has played in the competition twice this season en route to the final, and will be eager to make his third appearance in the showpiece game in just five years.
Chelsea will be desperate to have N’Golo Kanté and Willian back, after the pair both failed to make the squad for the win over Wolves. Kanté has missed the Blues’ last six games with a hamstring injury, with Willian missing just his second league game all season despite last-minute treatment last Sunday.
Midfield youngster Billy Gilmour continues his recovery from a knee injury, though he would earn a medal after making three appearances in the FA Cup.
Arsenal: Martínez; Holding, Luiz, Tierney; Bellerín, Xhaka, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles; Pépé, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Chelsea: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rüdiger; James, Kova?i?, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Giroud, Pulisic.
Arsenal ended their Premier League season on a high, with goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kieran Tierney earning a 3-2 win over Watford. It was their third win in four games, following their impressive 2-0 victory against Manchester City to reach the final.
The Gunners have fought hard for every win en route to Wembley, winning every game by no more than a two-goal margin. They have had seven different scorers across their five Cup games, with captain Aubameyang tied with 21-year-old Eddie Nketiah on two goals apiece.
Chelsea sealed Champions League qualification with an impressive win against Wolves, thanks to stoppage time goals from Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud. They are five games unbeaten in the capital, though away defeats to Sheffield United and Liverpool have shown their gaping vulnerability at the back.
The Blues have faced European competitors in the last three rounds, after breezing past Championship opposition in Nottingham Forest and Hull City. Ross Barkley has scored three goals – including the deciders against Liverpool and Leicester – before a comprehensive 3-1 win over Manchester United in the semi-final.
Saturday’s FA Cup Final will be a fascinating battle between two of London’s finest clubs and most exciting young managers. Both Arteta and Lampard are vying for their first piece of silverware in management and, with six combined FA Cup winners’ medals as players, they both know what Wembley glory feels like.
While Chelsea have the upper hand being unbeaten against the Gunners this season and victorious in last year’s Europa League final, Arsenal have won both FA Cup finals against the Blues. Despite finishing four positions and 10 points apart, this will be a tight encounter under the arch.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
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