An atypical London classic will be the one to decide the FA Cup champion, the last title at stake of the season in England. Arsenal and Chelsea (and vice versa) pursue the same goal today at Wembley: to add a trophy that allows one to play in Europe next year and others to put the finishing touch to an excellent campaign.
Those of Mikel Arteta have been far from the European positions in the Premier and they play a card to play continental competition one more year. Despite the comings and goings, the man from Gipuzkoa seems to have hit the team key in recent games, gaining stability.
The ‘semis’ duel against the powerful City of Guardiola was the best example of this. Despite the superiority of their rival, the ‘gunners’ knew how to take advantage of their opportunities, suffer behind and take a game to reach the final against all odds. Now, against Chelsea, it will be another story. Frank Lampard's are also not ready to shoot rockets, but they are slightly favorites due to their more solid season and because they have less pressure since they do not need the victory to be in Europe. The ‘blues’, third in the league, will play the next edition of the Champions League, but Lampard wants the title to give prestige to his first year on the London bench.
The FA Cup party, the oldest tournament in the world, will not be complete, since the pandemic will force the stands of the legendary Wembley to remain empty and without the heat of the fans.
Despite this, both Arsenal and Chelsea will go all out to get more than just a joy. Both arrive at the appointment with some weight loss and with various problems at hand. Arteta will not be able to count on the injured Leno, Mustafi and Marí, as well as Özil or Guendouzi, ‘punished’ for their attitude and lack of performance.
For his part, Lampard will return to leave Kepa on the bench after finally losing confidence in him after the 5-3 conceded at Anfield. The English will not have Kanté available either, but will Willian, recovered from his physical discomfort.
The Covid-19 will prevent the Cup from being delivered to the box, as is the custom at Wembley. Usually, the winner raised the trophy in the noble area of the stadium, but this year the coronavirus will force the award ceremony to take place on the grass and without major celebrations to avoid risks.
Remember that the final was renamed (Heads Up FA Cup final) to promote an initiative of Prince William, who will not make the initial formal greeting to the players, to raise awareness about mental health.
Arsenal: Emiliano Martínez; Holding, Luiz, Tierney; Bellerín, Ceballos, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Pepe, Lacazette and Aubameyang
Coach: Mikel Arteta
Chelsea: Willy Caballero; James, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, Marcos Alonso; Jorginho, Kovacic; Mount, Giroud and Pulisic
Coach: Frank Lampard
Stadium: Wembley (London)
Referee: Anthony Taylor