FA Cup Final Match Preview & Predictions
Will Chelsea do the double or will Arsenal lift the FA Cup for the 13th time this weekend? We'll soon find out!
May 26th, 2017
Chelsea are just one step away from completing a domestic double and giving manager Antonio Conte a hugely successful first season in charge of the west London side. Their absence from European competition may have given the Blues an edge over their rivals as many have claimed, however that is just how it is and there is little doubt that Chelsea have been a cut above their main opposition in all competitions this season. The Premier League is comfortably in the bag but the Blues certainly aren’t done yet and Conte will now look to his team to deliver the FA Cup and turn what has been a hugely successful season into a fantastic one.
Chelsea have impressed en-route to this stage of the tournament and having swept past lower-league opposition in the earlier rounds, they despatched Manchester City to the tune of 1-0 in the last-eight before hitting four past a strong Tottenham Hotspur defence in the semis to take them through to a Wembley final.
Arsenal have struggled through what has been a disappointing season, at least by their own standards. Whilst many sides would be happy with a fifth-place finish in the Premier League, not so the Gunners. Arsene Wenger’s men have finished in the Premier League top-four consistently throughout the past two decades and their absence from Champions League football next season will be hard to bear for their supporters. Calls for Arsene Wenger to go have been increasing since the start of the campaign and failure to lift the FA Cup this weekend would do little to silence his more vocal critics.
The Frenchman could save his skin in this competition and he is without doubt the most successful manager in the tournament’s long and illustrious history. Nevertheless this will count for exactly nothing when they face Chelsea this weekend and whilst the Gunners share the record for total FA Cup triumphs with Manchester United, we don’t envisage them adding to this on Saturday evening.
Chelsea are certainly a cut above Arsenal and we expect them to complete what has already been an excellent first season for Antonio Conte by adding the FA Cup to the trophy cabinet, although the Gunners should give their fans something to cheer by banging in a consolation goal along the way. At the other end, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard will be hugely influential in this match and we’ll be backing the latter to find the net at Wembley, the Belgian enjoying some decent form of late with five goals in five games throughout April. He scored against Arsenal in the 3-1 victory earlier this year and added his name to the scoresheet in the FA Cup semi-final win over Spurs. Is there any reason why he shouldn’t add to his tally this weekend? We don’t think so.