Chelsea vs Arsenal
Heard the one about the FA Cup Final in August?
Well, neither had I…until now.
Indeed, this time last year we were preparing for the Community Shield – normally the pre-season clash between the winners of the competition and the Premier League.
However, after the Covid-19 season sparked a significant delay, here we are on the first day of August preparing for the showpiece of the English football season.
It is one that still rekindles magic and excitement for this SBOBET observer.
The 2020 version is also a clash between two arch London rivals: both of whom have produced FA Cup highlights this season, both of whom have rookie managers bidding for the first piece of silverware.
It is also the conclusion of the 2019-20 domestic campaign which Mikel Arteta actually began at the national stadium as Manchester City assistant as they lifted the Community Shield.
Since being appointed as Arsenal boss in December, the Spaniard has slowly overseen signs of improvement and appears to be looking at the longer-term at a club which has been starved of regular success for some time.
The result of Saturday’s final against Chelsea may, indeed, dictate much of what the Gunners are able to do between now and September, so coming away with another Wembley win will be imperative.
The difference between Arsenal playing European football next term or missing out on the continental competition for the first time since 1995/96 is likely to be key in what type of players the club is able to attract during the summer transfer window.
By contrast, Chelsea have been serial winners in recent seasons and, regardless of the result this weekend, are already guaranteed a place in next season’s Champions League.
Ironically, the man who scored winning goal for Arsenal when they last won a major trophy, the 2017 FA Cup, is now in the blue of Chelsea.
For the first six months under coach Frank Lampard, Olivier Giroud started just two Premier League games. Between December 1 and February 16, he didn’t play a single minute.
However, with eight goals in his last 11 appearances, the veteran French striker is in a great frame of mind to take on his former club at Wembley.
This occasion may not have quite the same atmosphere without the intensity of opposing supporters, yet there is enough at stake to make the London derby every bit as intense as normal.
Throw in Arteta and Lampard, who both lifted the FA Cup when playing for the sides they are in charge of on Saturday and are seeking their first trophy since stepping into management, and you have all the ingredients for a classic 139th FA Cup Final.
Over the years, Arsenal have won 77 of their meetings with 65 Chelsea victories and 58 draws.
When these sides met in the second week of last season it was a thriller.
Chelsea edged the contest 3-2 thanks to a late winner from Marcos Alonso.
In the rematch in January, Arsenal triumphed 2-0 courtesy of goals from Alexandre Lacazette and then captain Laurent Koscielny.
Both matches fully displayed both sides strengths and weaknesses and was yet another chapter in the long-established rivalry.
It was similar this season with Chelsea scoring twice late on to win at the Emirates before Arsenal twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
That December success for Chelsea was their only triumph in the last 10 domestic meetings.
Of course, Chelsea will claim to have won the biggest match of all in that time in some style – a 4-1 thrashing of Arsenal in last season’s Europa League Final.
Yet at Wembley, the Gunners have the edge with victories over Chelsea in the 2017 FA Cup Final and Community Shield.
|Chelsea vs Arsenal||Over 2.75 @ 2.28|
|August 02, 00:30 (GMT+8)|
As a side which finished four places and 10 points above their capital rivals, Chelsea naturally start as favourites with the SBOBET FA Cup betting odds.
They are priced 1X2 @ 2.27 and Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 2.28.
Alternatively, Arsenal are available to tip 1X2 @ 2.97 or Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 2.42.
The draw, although the outcome will be decided after extra-time and/or penalties if necessary (there hasn’t been an FA Cup Final replay since 1993), is on offer @ 3.30.
A repeat of the outcome of the 2017 final – correct score 2-1 to Arsenal – provides odds of @ 11.00, while a re-run of the very one-sided Europa League Final last year – correct score 4-1 to Chelsea – is priced @ 55.00.
I am going for a close game with Chelsea as favourites, although I feel if the influential N’Golo Kante doesn’t make it, Arsenal may sneak it.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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