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Europa League final: Chelsea vs Arsenal
|Venue: Baku Olympic Stadium, Azerbaijan|
|Match time: Fulltime|
One of Europe’s big two club competitions reaches its final, as an all-English rivalry ignites in Baku between Chelsea and Arsenal. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 5am (AEST).
It’s been all English clubs in Europe regional club competitions this year, with Tottenham and Liverpool also set to contest the UEFA Champions League final on Sunday morning (AEST).
Chelsea come into this final looking for some silverware, but the ultimate advantage of winning the contest is usually qualification for the following season’s Champions League.
Given Chelsea are already there after finishing third in the Premier League this season, the thought from some fans is that they may be well below their best for the huge clash in Baku after a 62-match season which has left them, by their own admission, tired.
Chelsea had a fairly solid season, but they were never in the same ballpark as Liverpool and Manchester City, who ran away with the Premier League in a two-horse race.
They are sweating on the fitness of key man N’Golo Kante ahead of the match, and it’d be a significant boost to their hopes if he was fit.
Arsenal, on the other hand, having finished fifth in the Premier League, will be back in the Europa League here unless they can claim the trophy, so there should be absolutely no excuses offered from their camp, motivation-wise.
The gunners were in fine form during their two-leg semi-final mauling of Valencia, winning 3-1 and 4-2, and it’s the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette up front which should have the man from Stamford Bridge more than a little bit worried.
After a rough Premier League finish, the Gunners have plenty to prove, and will likely look to play a high-tempo game with an eye to an early lead.
Maurizio Sarri’s side, on the other hand, needed a penalty shootout to get to this stage of the competition and only conceded 39 goals during the Premier League this year, but they also had the lowest amount scored across the top six.
If they do fall behind, it will take an adventure away from Sarri-ball style to grab the win.
Arsenal have too much to play for. The fitness of Kante is a major concern, and the Gunners should be crowned Europa League champions.
Arsenal 2 – Chelsea 1.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2019 Europa League final from 5am (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 5am (AEST)
Venue: Baku Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
TV: Not available
Online: Live, Optus Sport
Betting: Chelsea $2.40, Arsenal $3
Overall record in all competitions: Played 198, Arsenal 76, Chelsea 63, drawn 58
Last meeting: Sat Jan 19, 2019 (English Premier League) – Arsenal 2 defeat Chelsea 0 at Emirates Stadium
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
1. Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK), 13. Willy Caballero (GK), 31. Robert Green (GK), 2. Antonio Rudiger, 3. Marcos Alonso, 5. Jorginho, 6. Danny Drinkwater, 7. N’Golo Kante, 8. Ross Barkley, 9. Gonzalo Higuain, 10. Eden Hazard, 11. Pedro, 12. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 17. Mateo Kovacic, 18. Olivier Giroud, 20. Callum Hudson-Odoi, 21. Davide Zappacosta, 22. Willian, 27. Andreas Christensen, 28. Cesar Azpilicueta, 30. David Luiz, 33. Emerson Palmieri, 42. Marco van Ginkel, 44. Ethan Ampadu
Arsenal (24-man travelling squad)
1. Petr Cech (GK), 19. Bernd Leno (GK), 44. Deyan Iliev (GK), 4. Mohamed Elneny, 5. Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 6. Laurent Koscielny, 8. Alexandre Lacazette, 10. Mesut Ozil, 11. Lucas Torreira, 12. Stephan Lichtsteiner, 13. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 15. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 17. Alex Iwobi, 18. Nacho Monreal, 20. Shkodran Mustafi, 23. Danny Welbeck, 25. Carl Jenkinson, 29. Matteo Guendouzi, 31. Sead Kolasinac, 34. Grant Xhaka, 49. Eddir Nketiah, 59. Joe Willock, 66. Xavier Amaechi, 87. Bukayo Saka