The final of the English FA Cup, the oldest cup competition in the world, will take place tomorrow at the hallowed turf of Wembley in London. This year’s edition will feature bitter rivals Arsenal & Chelsea, two teams from the capital.
Arsene Wenger is one win away from history in the competition as a victory for Arsenal tomorrow will make him the first manager in the history of English football to win seven FA Cups (same amount as Chelsea football club), however, standing in his way will be the wily Italian, Antonio Conte and his fantastic Chelsea team, who will be looking to complete the double after winning the EPL title last week.
A lot will be hinging on the outcome of this match for Arsenal, as a win will see them salvage something from an already underwhelming season and also likely help in determining the continuation of Arsene Wenger at the helm. The Gunners failed to make the Champions League for the first time in 20 years and there have been calls for Wenger’s exit by some section of the fans, they have even twice flown banners to that purpose this season.
Despite Antonio Conte insisting that Arsenal would start as favourites, observers of both teams will know that the reverse will be the case. It is true that the Gunners are in a rich vein of form with five wins from their last five matches, however, Chelsea are on an even better run with seven wins on the bounce. Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal’s leader at the back, will be out for this game after collecting a red card on the final day of the league season, while Gabriel, who injured himself in that same game, is out of this clash and Shkodran Mustafi is a doubt for tomorrow, leaving Arsenal with only the young Rob Holding and veteran Per Mertesacker as the only fit centre-backs in the squad.
The rumour mill has been in overdrive concerning the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil at the Emirates and the result of this game might influence the fate of these players, while this could also be Arsene Wenger’s final game as the manager of Arsenal and the Frenchman will surely have a plan to further cement his place in English football folklore. This should be one very interesting final to watch as it could the finale to some careers at Arsenal.