Tha Sports Junkies 101

FA Cup Final Chelsea vs Arsenal Preview

FA Cup Photo credit to Nick Shafi via Flickr


Road to the final for Chelsea

London, England – Premier League Champions Chelsea face Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday in the FA Cup final. Antonio Conte’s debut season in English football could not have gone much better for the Italian who was recently voted LMA manager of the year. They have already secured the league title with a record number of wins and the second most points.

While routine wins against Peterborough United, Brentford and Wolves saw them advance to the FA Cup quarterfinals. They faced Manchester United in the last eight at Stamford Bridge in what was a very a tight encounter. Man United’s Ander Herrera was sent off for a second bookable offense in the 35th minute. Chelsea eventually made their one man advantage count. Ngolo Kante fired home from outside the box to seal a place in the semi finals.

They faced Tottenham Hotspur in the semi final at Wembley. Spurs came into the game on the back of a lenghty winning run. The run narrowed the gap to Chelsea at the top of the Premier League. It was therefore a surprise that Conte left out star men Eden Hazard and Diego Costa for the match. However it proved to be a successful decision with Hazard’s replacement Willian scoring twice. The Blues eventually secured a 4-2 victory to seal a place in the final.

Road to the final for Arsenal

Arsenal’s season has been hugely disappointing compared with Chelsea’s. Arsene Wenger’s side have failed to finish in the top four for the first time in 20 years. They also suffered a humiliating 10-2 aggregate defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. This has led to protests against the clubs board and Wenger from supporters.

However, the FA Cup has provided some positives for Arsenal in what could be Wenger’s last year in charge of the club. They secured a narrow 2-1 win at Championship side Preston in the third round after coming back from a goal down. They then thrashed Southampton 5-0 in the next round in one of the gunner’s best performances this season.

Arsenal then faced two games against non league opposition. They saw off Sutton United 2-0 in a professional if unspectacular display. Before a meeting with Lincoln City in the quarterfinals at the Emirates. Lincoln had knocked out Premier League side Burnley in the previous round. However Arsenal had too much quality for them and won comfortably 5-0. Wenger’s side faced Manchester City in the semifinals at Wembley and managed to produce an impressive performance which saw them win 2-1 and secure their place in the final.

Who will win the final?

Chelsea will be the favorites on Saturday to seal a league and cup double. If they play like they have done for the majority of the season then they should have too much for Arsenal. However the Gunners did win 3-0 against Chelsea in September and if they can reproduce the same kind of performance then they may have a chance.