Arsenal has won the FA Cup a record 13 times, one more than Manchester United and five more times than its Saturday opponents. Chelsea last won in 2018 while Arsenal won the previous season.
Last chance for silverware
While Chelsea is still technically alive in Europe, down 3-0 to Bayern Munich and the home leg of a Champions League Round of 16 tie, the FA Cup Final is far and away both clubs’ best chance at silverware in their new managers’ first seasons in charge.
Arsenal is without Bernd Leno, Calum Chambers, Shkrodan Mustafi, and Gabriel Martinelli. It looks like Hector Bellerin will be a game time decision.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Billy Gilmour are out for Chelsea, who got a boost Friday with the news that N’Golo Kante and Willian recovered from injuries. Willian, however, has been left out of the side.
🚨 One change from Watford…
⬅️ @Joewillock#HeadsUpFACupFinal | @EmiratesFACup
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 1, 2020
Our #HeadsUpFACupFinal starting 11! 💪 pic.twitter.com/DcP5CWx1oO
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 1, 2020
American star Christian Pulisic is not facing any injury problems and said he “never had a real issue” over the last few weeks of the season despite coming off the bench against Liverpool.
Pulisic also spoke about the final and challenging old pal and mentor Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for hardware. From ESPN:
“The final comes down to us against them, who is more ready to play on the day. Obviously, it gives us confidence that we’ve been in good form, we’ve been playing well, and we’re going to try and bring that into the game. In the end, it is one game, and in a final, anything can happen.”
Odds and ends
Arsenal is +235 to win while Chelsea comes in at +114 according to DraftKings with a +250 chance of it going to penalty kicks.
The Blues took four of six points off Arsenal in Premier League play this season, winning 2-1 at the Emirates on Dec. 29 and drawing 2-2 at Stamford Bridge three-and-a-half weeks later.
It could go in any direction, as Chelsea’s shown itself to be a chance producer but also a chance waster and capable of defensive errors. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe, and Bukayo Saka are electric talents who can punish the Blues. Pulisic has a huge chance to make another great moment in his young career. Let’s call this one as a going to kicks.
How to watch Arsenal – Chelsea in the FA Cup Final
Kickoff: 12:30 pm ET Saturday