Chelsea vs Arsenal - Europa League Final - Lets

Chelsea vs Arsenal

UEFA Europa League Final – Baku

Wednesday 29th May – 20:00 UK Time

It’s the first of two all-English European competition finals this week, as Chelsea take on Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League Final in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Chelsea Route to the Final

Chelsea have gone through their entire Europa League campaign unbeaten so far, with eleven wins and three draws.

Their only hiccup in during the group stage was a 2-2 draw away to Hungarian side MOL Vidi, although that came in the final match of the round robin section and after five victories in a row had already guaranteed top spot in Group L.

The West London side then stormed through the knockout phases, beating Malmo 5-1 on aggregate, Dynamo Kiev (8-0), and Slavia Prague (5-3) to advance to the last four.

They found it tough going in the semi final though, with two 1-1 draws against Eintracht Frankfurt taking the tie to a penalty shoot-out. Cesar Azpilicueta gave the German side the advantage when he missed the second of Chelsea’s spot kicks. But, Frankfurt missed their last two while Chelsea netted the remainder of theirs to book a place in the final.

Arsenal Route to the Final

Arsenal topped a group which became a two-horse race between them and Sporting CP, with a 1-0 win in Lisbon and a 0-0 home draw against the Portuguese side enough to finish unbeaten on sixteen points.

However, the first two knockout rounds were a tale of two halves for Arsenal as they suffered defeat in the first leg of both. A shock 1-0 defeat to BATE of Belarus was overturned with a 3-0 home win in the return leg, and then a 3-1 defeat to Rennes was also fought back from with a 3-0 second leg win.

The next two rounds were plain sailing for The Gunners though, with a 3-0 aggregate victory over Napoli in the quarter final followed by a 7-3 aggregate win over Valencia to book their place in Baku and give them a chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

Head to Head

Arsenal have the advantage with regards recent head to head meetings, having won four of the last eight meetings. These include a penalty shoot-out victory in the FA Community Shield in August 2017. Chelsea have just one win in the last eight, with three draws. Although the Community Shield match did finish level after 90 minutes, so it technically makes four draws in the last eight if we only include until the final whistle.

The most recent meeting, in January this year, was a 2-0 league victory for Arsenal.

Chelsea have the better record in European competition meetings, although it’s a very narrow advantage. The only previous European meetings were in the Quarter Final of the Champions League in 2004. A 1-1 draw at home for Chelsea was followed by a 2-1 away win thanks to an 87th minute Wayne Bridge winner.

Team News

The big team news coming out of the Chelsea camp is that influential midfielder N’Golo Kante will miss the final having picked up a knee injury in training. Kante had already missed the last couple of games of the regular season through injury but had returned to training and looked likely to play a part in Baku.

It’s another blow to Chelsea, who will also be without Ruben Loftus-Cheek after the England international was injured in a recent charity match. Defender Antonio Rudiger also remains on the treatment table.

Politics have played a part in squad selection for Arsenal, with midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan forced to miss the final due to concerns over his safety. This is all down to political tension between host country Azerbaijan and the players native Armenia.

Manager Unai Emery will also need to make a big decision regarding who plays in goal for this match. Petr Cech has been the main keeper for Europa League matches this season, but will be leaving at the end of the campaign to return to Chelsea as Director of Football.

Not only that, but many believe first choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno should be between the sticks for Arsenal’s most important match of the season as he is far superior to Cech in every department.

Betting Odds

Chelsea are a slight favourite to win this tie, with Betfair pricing them as 7/5 favourites for victory in 90 minutes and 4/6 to lift the trophy. Arsenal are priced at 2/1 to win in normal time, and 6/5 to lift the trophy. While the draw is at odds of 23/10.

Seeing as four of the last eight meetings have been level after 90 minutes, the draw could be a decent bet at a price slightly longer than 2/1.

Both teams have scored in six of the last ten meetings and it’s priced at 4/6 for both sides to net here. However, both sides have only netted eight times in the last twenty meetings and in only 50% of the last six so there’s a big chance that one or both will fail to score here. Betting “no” in the both teams to score market is priced at 23/20.

With regards who will score the goals, if there are indeed any goals scored, it may pay to look at the two teams top scorers in this competition this season. For Chelsea, it is former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud who tops their Europa League scoring charts with ten goals. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Arsenal’s top scorer in this competition with eight goals.

Giroud is available at odds of 21/10 to score anytime, and 6/1 to score first. Aubameyang is shorter odds, priced at 6/4 to score in 90 minutes or 9/2 to score first.



Leave a Reply