London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal will face each other on May 29 with plenty at stake from both clubs. UEFA has announced on Monday that Gianluca Rocchi will referee the Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal at the Baku Olympic Stadium.
The Gunners’ fans are very happy as their manager Unai Emery is the Europa League specialist having won 3 times in a row with the Spanish top-flight league club Sevilla. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was clinical in the semis scoring 4 goals in the 2 legs, helping his side book their final tickets. Lacazette and Aubameyang with 4 goals each have scored Arsenal’s last eight Europa League goals. This is Arsenal’s 1st UEFA final since 2006. Arsenal finished 5th in their domestic league so their only chance to play in Champions League next season is to lift the UEL trophy by beating Chelsea in the finals.
On the other side, Maurizio Sarri is yet to win a trophy, but his squad is fully packed with world class players with huge experience in the competition. César Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Eden Hazard and Gary Cahill have lifted the UEL trophy back in 2013. After a season with huge ups and downs packed with poor results and performances, Chelsea is ending the season in fine form losing just 2 in their previous 19 fixtures across all competitions. The players are finally starting to understand Sarri’s demands and coaching style and booked their Champions League tickets for the next season by finishing 3rd in the English Premier League behind champions Manchester City and Liverpool but above Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Despite having 1 more year remaining with his club, Chelsea’s superstar Eden Hazard is set to leave the club after the UEL final clash against Arsenal in a deal worth $113m. He is expected to play his best football and give everything to win the trophy before signing with Real Madrid. On the other side, Arsenal are trying to offer their 2 world class strikers, Aubameyang and Lacazette an extension to their contract before the last match of the season but they are expected to receive a negative answer if Arsenal will not play in Champions League next season.
Arsenal will be without Aaron Ramsey ruled out with a tight injury, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck and Denis Suarez all injured but they enter this match full of confidence after their recent results and performances. On the other side, Chelsea will be without Antino Rudiger, Callum Hudson-Odoi both ruled-out with injuries. Olivier Giroud is Europa League’s top scorer with 10 goals netted and 4 assists offered this season and we expect him to start up front.
The 2 teams have faced each-other 2 times this season both winning their Premier League home matches but the UEL finals will take place on neutral venue in Baku, so their domestic league head-to-head numbers mean nothing. Both teams are brilliant going forward scoring goals for fun and they also concede as they struggle to keep clean sheets. We expect a high-scoring affair with both teams have the necessary weapons to find the back of the net.
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