Arsenal vs Chelsea FA Cup Final Odds, Predictions, Live Score
Arsenal vs Chelsea FA Cup Final Odds
The FA Cup final between Chelsea and Arsenal is a clash between ecstasy and agony.
For the team from West London, things are anything but Blue. They have won the Premier League for the second time in 3 seasons. They made it look easy, and as such, Antonio Conte has been named manager of the year in England, to add to the list of personal and collective accolades they have already earned. Among them include most win ever by a premier league team (30), N'golo Kante was already named PFA player of the year, and Thibault Courtois has snatched the Gloden Glove by keeping the most clean sheets (16).
Most importantly for Chelsea, their entire squad is fully fit and the only question that remains is who will start alongside Kante in Chelsea's midfield this weekend. My hunch tells me that Conte will opt for Cesc Fabregas over Nemanja Matic.
For Arsenal, on the other hand, things are in shambles. Whereas Chelsea fans are on top of the moon, Gunner fans are drowning in their own apathy. Having finished 5th means that there will be no Champions League for Arsenal next season.
Furthermore, Arsene Wenger is holding the supporters hostage by postponing announcing his plans for next season until after Saturday's game. Though most reports indicate that he will stay, it has left those who support him as well as those who chant "Wenger Out" in limbo.
Speaking of limbo, Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez's status for the game is up in the air. Alexis has a suspected hamstring injury and without the Chilean in the lineup, Arsenal have no shot.
Once again my hunch tells me that even hurt, Sanchez will play, but the degree to which he is hurt will determine how effective he can be. Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain is back in training and looks like he will be able to take part.
But Arsenal have huge problems at the back. Their best defender Laurent Koscielny is OUT, after picking up a red card in the team's final game. Paulista is also OUT due to injury, meaning that if Mustafi can not play, the only two recognized centre backs Arsenal will have are the young Rob Holding, and the old, very big, very, very slow Per Mertesacker.
From a practical stand point, this could mean that Arsenal have to revert to a back four rather than a back three OR keep the 3-4-3 formation that has been working for them recently and slot one of their wing backs in. Either way it looks like Per Mertesacker will be on the field and for the forward line of Pedro, Hazard and Costa that will be like waving a checkered flag.
2017 FA Cup Final Prediction
Chelsea are a finely tuned machine and everything is aligned perfectly for them.CHELSEA TO WIN IN 90 MINUTES (-125) BET365
The only thing that could stop Chelsea is Chelsea. They may fall asleep and allow a cheap goal, they may get reckless and have a player sent off, they may look at the weakened team Arsenal are forced to field and allow complacency to set in.
But these are risks I am willing to take with the faith that Antonio Conte will simply not let that happen. Great managers don't let chances like this slip often and this is a great chance for Chelsea to head into what is forecasted to be an epic summer.
For up to the minute picks and all things footy you can follow me on twitter @zahir_gilani
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