So, like the Champions League Final, the Europa League Final will feature two British clubs, London rivals Arsenal F.C. and Chelsea F.C. The hometown rivalry hopefully will produce a brilliant cup final. In recent years the F.A. Cup Final had this matchup and it didn’t disappoint. This time these two teams match up in a European Cup Final which gives this tie some extra spice.
This game has a lot on stake, the winner automatically qualifies for the Champions League. Chelsea has already qualified for the Champions League due to their third-place finish in the Premier League. Arsenal has some extra motivation to win this game because their pitiful end to their Premier League campaign left them 1 point of Champions League qualification.
I think Arsenal have enough to beat Chelsea in this game. Although Arsenal has been extremely shaky defensively this year. I don’t think Chelsea’s defense is much better than Arsenal’s, and David Luiz is always ripe for a Mustafi-like defensive calamity. The Aubameyang-Lacazette strike partnership should cause plenty of problems for Chelsea’s backline, enough to see them win the game. Especially since Arsenal and Chelsea’s midfields are on a very similar level.
Another factor that could decide the game is Arsenal’s keeper selection. Yesterday information that Petr Cech would be joining Chelsea’s backroom staff at the end of the season was leaked to the media. Although Petr is a legend of the game, for his accomplishments with both Chelsea and Arsenal, and deserves a European Cup Final send-off. The news that he will be joining Chelsea’s backroom staff shows where his loyalties lie. This for me is enough to start Leno, especially since he has had a wonderful first year in the Premier League.
There is speculation that Chelsea are trying to ship Marizio Sarri off to Juventus at the end of the season. I’m not too surprised by this decision as “Sarri-ball” hasn’t really caught on at Stamford Bridge and their upper management is extremely fickle about coaching decisions. This adds a little extra flavor to this European Cup Final since coaching uncertainties can rattle players, especially at this stage. Unai Emery will definitely be up for the tie because he has shown in the past that he is a master at winning this trophy.
Hopefully, this game produces an exciting fixture, one that the Europa League could use since it isn’t the preferred European club tournament for the fans. We all know the Europa League is quite bland when compared to the Champions League.