Arsenal v Chelsea – Emirates FA Cup final – Wembley Stadium – Saturday 5:30pm
Arsenal v Chelsea – Preview:
Mikel Arteta takes his Arsenal side to Wembley in search of their fourteenth FA Cup success as they face capital rivals, Chelsea, in a repeat of the 2016/17 final when goals from Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey confirmed a 2-1 success for the North Londoners.
Chelsea head into the game as favourites. However, Arteta insisted his side are ‘in it to win it’ and was confident of finishing an otherwise frustrating campaign with a flourish.
“I don’t know, it’s a final. The only aim, the only focus, and all our energy is going to be on winning that trophy, it doesn’t matter where we start.
“Two big clubs playing each other, Chelsea are in a really good moment, they have come back so far this season where they are – they are playing a really good level. We are going to go for it.”
The Gunners chief was clearly relishing the occasion, explaining: “We are very excited, it is such a special day, in the country and in this competition.
“We are a club that is very much linked with it with the amount of times that we have won it, so we want to do it again. For me, as well, it is so special that it is in my first season in charge in a final with the team and the boys are really excited and looking forward to the
The Spaniard skippered Arsenal to their 2014 final victory over Hull City when the Gunners recovered an early two-goal deficit to lift the famous trophy – an occasion Arteta still fondly recalls: “Absolutely, I have pictures, I have memories, I’ve got a lot of moments that made that day really, really nice. I think we have to understand the context of how long the club was, I think, nine years without a trophy.
“We wanted to do it for everyone, for the club, for our fans obviously and for Arsene as well, who was handling the situation really well. We knew how important it was for him, and he generated a really good connection between the club, players and fans.
“The next day was beautiful, the celebration with our people in the streets. Great memories.”
Arteta spoke about the similarities between that particular fina and the one his side are about to face, adding: “Again, the club was obviously in a big long spell without winning any trophies, so we could feel the pressure – as well we were the favourites for that final to go on and do it. The game was a little bit crazy right from the start, but the way it ended up was great. After that, we started a run in the competition.”
Arsenal v Chelsea – Head to head:
Arsenal won: 77
Chelsea won: 65
Arsenal v Chelsea – Least five meetings (all competitions):
August 18, 2018 – Premier League
Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal
January 19, 2019 – Premier League
Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea
May 29, 2019 – UEFA Europa League final
Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal
December 29, 2019 – Premier League
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
January 21, 2020 – Premier League
Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal
Jeevesie’s prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
(Quotes courtesy of Arsenal Football Club – www.arsenal.com)