Chelsea vs Arsenal: Europa League Final Preview and Betting Tips

Martin Green

Monday, May 27, 2019 9:29 PM UTC

Monday, May. 27, 2019 9:29 PM UTC

London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are in Azerbaijan to battle it out for glory in the Europa League final on Wednesday night.
<div><h2><strong>Arsenal v Chelsea</strong></h2><p><a href="" title="Europa League Final Betting Odds"><strong>Wednesday, May 29th, </strong></a><a href="" title="Europa League Final Betting Odds"><strong>Baku Olympic Stadium</strong></a></p><h2>Team News</h2><p>Chelsea have been rocked by an injury crisis in the build-up to their Europa League final clash with London rivals Arsenal. Midfield general N’Golo Kante took a knock in training and he is now a major doubt for the game. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are already out, while Antonio Rudiger is a long-term absentee. This may well be Maurizio Sarri’s last game as Chelsea manager, and he could opt for a central defensive pairing of David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta, with Davide Zapacosta and Emerson on the flanks and Kepa Arizabalaga in goal.</p><p>The midfield trio is likely to consist of Jorginho, Ross Barkley and Matteo Kovacic. They are all comfortable on the ball, but it lacks bite. Sarri has a big call to make on who starts up front. Olivier Giroud is the top scorer in this season’s Europa League, having banged in 10 goals, but loanee Gonzalo Higuain is pushing for a starting berth. He has to decide between Willian and Pedro in attack, and he will probably opt for the Spaniard. Ultimately, much will rest on the shoulders of Eden Hazard, who will be the best player on the pitch. He looks set to leave the club this summer, and fans will be desperate for one final display of greatness from the mercurial Belgian superstar.</p><p>Unai Emery has won this competition three times with Sevilla, so he knows how to get the job done. He also has a big call to make. Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has started every Europa League game for the Gunners this season, but Bernd Leno is the club’s number one keeper. Cech will retire after this game, whereby he will re-join Chelsea as a sporting director. Many fans and pundits are urging Emery to deny him a fairy-tale end to a glorious career and opt for Leno instead in such a big game.</p><p>Arsenal have a pretty clean bill of health, missing only long-term absentee Hector Bellerin and outgoing duo Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck. That means Emery can afford to leave Shkodran Mustafi on the bench and go for a back three of Laurent Koscielny, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Nacho Monreal, with Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles operating as wing-backs. Expect to see a midfield pairing of Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka, and a fearsome attacking triumvirate of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has not made the trip to Baku due to political tensions between Azerbaijan and his native Armenia, but Alex Iwobi will offer Arsenal another option from the bench.</p><h2>Form Guide</h2><p>Both of these teams finished the season in an unconvincing fashion, but ultimately Chelsea finished two points and two places ahead of Arsenal. Both managers are still finding their feet in the Premier League and they locked horns in Week 2, with Chelsea winning 3-2 thanks to some late heroics from Hazard. However, Arsenal turned the tables on the Blues with a 2-0 victory at The Emirates later in the season.</p><p>The Gunners also looked a lot more convincing in the Europa League. They were handed a tricky quarter-final clash with Napoli, and they were underdogs in the bookies’ estimations. However, they beat the Serie A outfit home and away, before ripping Valencia apart in the semis. It finished 7-3 on aggregate and Aubameyang and Lacazette scored all seven goals. Chelsea needed a penalty shootout to get past a stubborn Eintracht Frankfurt side in the semis, while they picked up a 5-3 aggregate win over Slavia Prague in the previous round.</p><h2>Betting Tips</h2><p>Arsenal are 21/10 (3.10) underdogs with <a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" target="_blank" title="Bet365">Bet365</a> to win this game and that looks tempting. It looks like a 50/50 game between two evenly matched teams, so it is perhaps strange to see such long odds on the Gunners. They have more at stake, as victory would see them qualify for next season's Champions League, a competition Chelsea have already qualified for. The injury to Kante will further embolden Arsenal, while Aubameyang and co should find plenty of weaknesses in the Chelsea defence to exploit. Having said that, Arsenal are also very leaky at the back, and both teams to score is attractive at 8/11 (1.73) with Betfair.</p><p><strong><a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" target="_blank" title="Bet365 Odds">Arsenal to win: 21/10 (3.10) with Bet365</a></strong></p><p><a href=";a=8ec6399a-9df1-4c52-b272-39e6428836a6&amp;f=1" target="_blank" title="BetFair Odds"><strong>Both teams to score: 8/11 (1.73) with Betfair</strong></a></p></div>
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