The FA Cup Final. Arsenal vs Chelsea. Mikel Arteta vs Frank Lampard. One young manager is about to end the season with a major trophy. Oh, how I do hope it is Arteta. But I need to put loyalty to the side for a minute as I look ahead to who I do think are the favourites and what will happen at Wembley Stadium tomorrow.
The game is more important to the Gunners that's for sure. Regardless of the result, Chelsea have had a really good season with an impressive top four finish. Losing in the final wouldn't be a disaster for them, but of course they would really love to win. However, Arsenal have had a forgettable season, and this win would all of a sudden make it a pretty decent season. As well as that, it would give them a much needed financial boost as they would qualify for the Europa League. It's fair to say Chelsea and Roman Abramovich aren't exactly struggling for cash. Either way,one these two young, up and coming managers are going to secure their first piece of silverware.
Onto the game itself. The game is going to go either one of two ways. We will either ses Arsenal set up defensively and sit back and allow Chelsea to have the ball - as we saw when they played Liverpool and Manchester City recently. Both ended in very impressive wins. They will then aim to target a poor Blues defence on the counter attack. OR, Arsenal will go for it, leading to a very end to end game. If this happens, there would surely be goals as both teams have very questionable defences - as we know. Don't be surprised if Arteta decides to go with this style of play to target their defence. We know how Chelsea are going to play. They've only ever played on way under Lampard, and you can guarantee they'll stick to that. I'm a massive fan of Christian Pulisic, as I'm sure most people are right now. Reminiscent of Eden Hazard, the classy winger is going to be the biggest threat on the pitch. I wouldn't be surprised if Arteta starts Ainsley Mailtand-Niles on the right side of defence this time in order to stop him. He deployed a similar tactic against City in the semi-final as he started as a left wing back to cancel out Riyad Mahrez with his pace and athleticism. It worked, and I can see him going the same route yet again.
Chelsea have a lot of attacking quality, and have shown that on numerous occasions this season. They will unquestionably go in as favourites , but I do honestly believe if Arsenal put in a similar quality performance as they did in the semifinal, they can cancel out the likes of Mason Mount, Willian and Pulisic. If they can do it against City then why not Chelsea? David Luiz will need to be at his best, and not the other form of him that is oh so calamitous. The Blues though will be hoping that Ngolo Kante is fully fit to take his place in midfield. Riddled with injuries this season, I think the Frenchman has looked his best when played in a deeper role rather than the advanced role which Maurizio Sarri played him in and also Lampard at the start of the season. I know he's rarely played as the deepest midfielder on the pitch, and normally has another midfielder next to him to allow him to roam, but I do think Kante could be a superb lone holding midfielder. He is so fast and nimble he can cover so much ground and dominate in that position. As well as that, he has a superb passing range that is often overlooked. When he played there during the start of the restart, I think he actually looked really good. Chances are Lampard goes with a 3-4-3, so that'll be irrelevant on the weekend, but just food for thought.
Honestly, I do actually think Arsenal are going to win. Sure, maybe I'm being bias and thinking with my heart rather than my head, but I think if Arsenal set up and play like they did against City, then they will get the job done. Well, I hope so anyway. Either way, I cannot wait for the game and I'm sure it will be a great game and occasion. Of course, it would be better with fans, but what can you do?
Next week I will be back with a review of the final, then I will give a review of every Premier League club's seasons before the Champions League starts. See you then.