Wednesday 29 May: 8pm KO
Live on BT Sport and their YouTube Channel
It’s a big week for English football teams as they compete in both of this season’s European finals. Just days before Liverpool take on Tottenham in the Champions League final, Arsenal and Chelsea head to Azerbaijan for the Europa League final.
Even winning the Europa League doesn’t look like preventing another change of manager at Chelsea. Maurizio Sarri is rumoured to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge and on his way to Juventus. Before that does or doesnt happen, the Italian hopes to lead his team to a win on Wednesday and they are 4/6 (1.66) at Befair to return home (which might take a while) with the Europa League Trophy.
They are yet to taste defeat in this season’s Europa League and have only lost one of their last 20 Europa League games. All but three of their games en route to this final in Azerbaijan have been won with the three others ending level. That includes both games against Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals. It’s 9/4 (3.25) at Paddy Power that this final ends in a draw after 90 minutes.
Chelsea finished third in the Premier League this season and were runners-up in the Carabao Cup. Throw in this Europa League final and it’s not been a bad season for the Londoners but still one that shows disatisfction with their manager. The dark days of the 4-0 loss at Bournemouth and 6-0 loss to Manchester City still linger in the memory. Can they end their season with victory in this game? You can get odds of 7/5 (2.4) at Unibet on a win in 90 minutes.
For Arsenal, this game has far more significance. Victory in this final will see them back in the Champions League next season and that might remove any chance of Unai Emery ending up as boss of Barcelona. The Gunners could only manage to finish fifth in the Premier League this season. It was another 38 games of home dominance with some terrible away results preventing a top four finish.
Arsenal’s form certainly baffled their fans at times. They lost eight on the road in the Premier League but were able to get notable wins at Napoli and Valencia when on Europa League duty. Two of their away games in this competition were lost but on both occasions they rescued the ties with a home win. This isnt their first trip to Azerbaijan in this season’s Europa League, so at least they know how to get there. Arsenal are 21/20 (2.05) to win the Europa League this season.
Arsenal certainly have the upperhand on their opponents when it comes to recent meetings. Chelsea have only won one of their last eight games against the Gunners. That win came at Stamford Bridge in the early days of the 2018/19 Premier League season. Their last win over Arsenal away from the Bridge was in 2016. The odds on Arsenal winning this game in 90 minutes are 11/5 (3.2) at Bet365.
Arsenal will be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan as there were worries over his safety in Azerbaijan. Aaron Ramsey will also be missing from the Arsenal line-up. Chelsea have Ruben Loftus-Cheek out injured and it’s unlikely N’Golo Kante will be fit in time to play.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended the season in great form with seven goals in his last four games. That included a hat-trick in the 4-2 semi-final win at Valencia. He’s 5/1 (6,0) at BoyleSports to score the first goal in this game. SkyBet have the Frenchman at 13/8 (2.61) to score at any time in 90 minutes.
Arsenal have the greater incentive to win this game as Chelsea have already qualified for the Champions League. The Gunners ended the season in good form with three wins out of four and 11 goals scored. Aubameyang and Lacazette are going to be a fearsome strikeforce and a bet on Arsenal winning with both teams scoring (the Gunners have conceded in each of their last seven games) is 9/2 (5.5) at Betfred.