Chelsea V Arsenal : Europa League Final Match, Goal Scorers and Stats
Date: Wednesday 29th May
Stadium: Baki Olimpiya Stadionu
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Christensen, David Luiz, Alonso; Kovačić, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Giroud, Hazard
Out: Loftus-Cheek (Achilles), Hudson-Odoi (Achilles), Rüdiger (knee), Ampadu (back)
Doubtful: Kanté (knee), Cahill (Achilles)
Key Man : Eden Hazard
Arsenal: Čech; Kolasinač, Koscielny, Papastathopoulos, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles; Xhaka, Torreira; Aubameyang, Özil; Lacazette
Out: Ramsey (hamstring), Denis Suárez (groin), Bellerín (knee), Holding (knee), Mkhitaryan (did not travel)
Doubtful: Welbeck (ankle)
Key Man : Aubameyang
Dan Thacker, Chelsea: For a club that became so accustomed to continental success around the turn of the decade, it seems remarkable that this is Chelsea’s first European final since 2013, when they lifted this trophy in Amsterdam. All expected to start in Baku, Eden Hazard, David Luiz and César Azpilicueta were part of that squad and their nous could prove crucial. Maurizio Sarri, who has never scooped a major trophy as a coach, will certainly hope so.
Even so, one-nation finals tend to be tense affairs – the sides’ familiarity often breeding wariness – with Chelsea’s penalty shoot-out defeat against Manchester United in the 2008 UEFA Champions League decider one such example. With one victory apiece in domestic head-to-heads this season, it would not be a surprise to see this one extend beyond 90 minutes.
John Atkin, Arsenal: The Gunners have a cavernous trophy cabinet teeming with silverware. Thirteen English championships, 13 FA Cups, two League Cups, 15 Community Shields – but so far there is a solitary UEFA crown among them: the 1994 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
Aubameyang’s Europa League goals this season
Unai Emery alone has three times as many, all from his time at Sevilla, and his know-how will be invaluable for a side that arrived in Baku 48 hours before Chelsea – better prepared or over-eager? As will the potency of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, scorers of Arsenal’s last eight UEFA Europa League goals.
Kepa v Čech: Their best saves this season
Thoughts from the camps
Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea coach
Usually against Arsenal, it’s an open match. They have two very dangerous strikers: Lacazette and Aubameyang. They are very dangerous as a team in the offensive phase. They are aggressive and able to press well in the opposition half, so it’s not easy to play against them.
We didn’t want to play this final for the Champions League. We wanted the Champions League through the Premier League, and then we wanted to win a trophy. The final is very important for us, and our feeling is we deserve to win a trophy.
Unai Emery, Arsenal manager
The first idea thing I had to transmit to the players this season is that we go for every competition. When we started playing in the first Europa League matches, some players preferred to play Premier League. OK, but I am going to decide when you are going to rest or not.
I don’t want you to think you might not play in the early rounds and yet, when we arrive at the semi-final or the final, you say to me: “I am here to play.” All season, the approach to this competition has been a big focus, a big ambition to do something important. To feel this competition like we want it.