Wednesday 29 May: 8pm KO
Live on BT Sport
The first of two all-English European finals takes place on Wednesday 29 May. Supporters of Arsenal and Chelsea are easily identified these days. They are the ones constantly checking online to work out just how to get to Baku in Azerbaijan and if they can afford to get there without having to remortgage their house. As for the clubs, Arsenal will be hoping they can win the Trophy to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
It could be a golden few weeks for English football with the Europa League and Champions League trophies already guaranteed to be heading to English clubs. Throw in the possibility of England winning the UEFA Nations League and it’d be a successful period the likes we haven’t seen in years.
Arsenal have all the pressure on them in this game as they take on Chelsea in the Europa League final. They need to win this game to avoid another season of trekking around Europe in the Europa League. Victory in Baku will confirm their return to the Champions League next season. William Hill currently have odds of 11/10 (2.1) on the Gunners lifting the trophy.
Unai Emery’s team are no strangers to Azerbaijan having played Vorskla Poltava in the group stages. They won both their games against that team but have been beaten in twice so far in the Europa League this season. Both of those losses came on their travels as they lost to BATE Borisov and Rennes.
Their away record cost them a top-four finish but the side who can lose at Leicester City and Southampton can also go to Sporting Lisbon, Napoli and Valencia and return with a victory. Betfred will give you 9/4 (3.25) on Arsenal beating Chelsea in 90 minutes.
Chelsea finished third in the Premier League so are guaranteed their Champions League place for next season. Grabbing third from Tottenham was important because a fourth place finish would have put them in danger of going into the play-off round if Arsenal win this game giving England five teams in the Champions League next season. It’s straight into the group stages for Chelsea next season and they are 4/6 (1.66) at William Hill to lift the Europa League.
They are undefeated in their last eight games and that includes a 3-0 friendly win over New England earlier this week. Chelsea’s last 25 games have only seen them lose four times and those losses were against the quartet of Premier League sides from Liverpool and Manchester.
Chelsea had a tough semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt and if you go to Betfred they’ll give you 7/5 (2.4) on the Blues winning this final in 90 minutes.
Chelsea have only won one of their last eight games against Arsenal. That was a home win over the Gunners last August. Their last five cup/Community Shield games against the Gunners have produced four defeats and a draw. William Hill have odds of 23/10 (3.3) on this Europa League final ending level after 90 minutes play.
Chelsea will be without Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi who are both injured. Aaron Ramsey won’t be fit for Arsenal.
Giroud to Become Top Scorer?
It’s been a frustrating Premier League season for Oliver Giroud with only a couple of goals. However, he comes into this Europa League final as the joint top scorer in this season’s Europa League with ten goals. There are odds of 2/1 (3.0) at William Hill that he will score in this final to go ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic.
Both Teams on Target?
The last three games Chelsea have played in the Europa League have seen both teams score. That stat has been a winner in the last four Arsenal league and cup games. If you place you wager at Betfred they will give you 8/11 (1.72) on both teams hitting the back of the net.
Arsenal have had the tougher opposition to face on their way to this final. They have the added desire to win and get into the Champions League and if they do, the loudest cheers will come from their accountants. Their away day blues aren’t so evident in European competition and Betfred have odds of 5/1 (6.0) on Arsenal winning this game with both teams scoring.