Chelsea and Arsenal do battle in the first of the all-Premier League European finals in Baku on Wednesday night. All the pressure is on Arsenal as lifting the trophy is there only chance of Champions League qualification, while for Chelsea this could be the last game for Eden Hazard with the speculation behind a move to Real Madrid starting to gather pace. Form Labs bring you there betting preview and tips for the game while we bring you the value with our massive selection of enhanced odds which can be found in our FanBoosts section. If you are a new customer to FansBet then why not take advantage of our deposit £10 play with £30 offer for the Europa League which you can claim below!
Baku Not A Popular Choice
The Europa League final hasn’t exactly inspired great numbers of fans to travel with Baku a 5,000 mile round trip from London, with no direct flights and a minimum journey of seven hours – though for many it will take even longer.
The ticket allocation has also been slim, with both sides receiving about 6,000 in a stadium that holds nearly 70,000, while there’s also a further injustice for the Gunners as Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan won’t travel to Baku with the rest of the squad owing to fears over his safety.
However, while this is about as neutral a territory in terms of home support as you could get, both teams are affected by the distance and both Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery will want to lift silverware in their first seasons in charge.
English Clubs In Europe
Since the start of last season, three of four meetings between English clubs in European competition have seen at least three goals, including of course the wild and pulsating 4-3 ding-dong between City and Spurs last month.
That brought the average goals per game across these fixtures to 3.5, while five of the last seven Europa League finals have witnessed a minimum of three strikes as well.
If this one does take on the feel of a Premier League encounter, then there’s further reason to expect a high output in the final third.
This season contained more goals than any other in Premier League history, which is a growing trend with all five of the highest-scoring campaigns coming since 2010/11.
Gunners Recent Form
A run of three consecutive defeats in April really cost Arsenal in the final league standings, but since going down to Palace, Wolves and Leicester, the Gunners have responded well with three wins from four unbeaten outings.
These included victories in both legs of their semi-final with Valencia as they produced a combined score of 7-3, with the four-goal haul at the Mestalla particularly impressive as Marcelino’s men rarely concede many at home in the big games.
In fact, that’s the only time in their last 27 fixtures there where they’ve shipped more than a solitary strike, while Juve were the only other side to manage that feat this season as they won 2-0 in the Champions League group stages.
Lacazette and Aubameyang On Fire
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took centre stage as they bagged three and four goals respectively across the two legs with the Spanish outfit, and the latter in particular is in red-hot form.
The Gabon international now has seven goals in four matches so far this month and with five of these coming in Arsenal’s last two games – both of which came away from the Emirates where the Gunners have floundered badly – he looks destined to find his way onto the scoresheet.
Rudiger A Big Loss For Chelsea
Arsenal and Aubameyang’s chances of finding the net are enhanced by the continued absence of Antonio Rudiger for Chelsea.
The German centre-back has developed into a key player for the Blues in his second season at the club and in the six games where he’s played 40 minutes or less since mid-April, Chelsea have gone just W2-D4-L1 as they shipped nine goals – even conceding three times at home to Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals.
He’s not the only player Maurizio Sarri is missing however, though from a defensive standpoint he’ll be glad that N’Golo Kante has returned to training following a hamstring injury and the Frenchman looks set to start this game.
Hudson-Odoi And Loftus-Cheek Also Out
Callum Hudson-Odoi is of course a long-term absentee, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be bitterly disappointed with his latest injury coming at a time where he was just starting to make his mark on the team and getting more minutes under his belt.
However, it does open the door for Ross Barkley, who could well be the main beneficiary having netted a brace in a friendly with New England Revolution as the Blues prepared for the final.
Olivier Giroud got the other goal in a 3-0 win, and having complained about a lack of game-time this season before signing a new contract after Chelsea were handed a transfer ban, he’ll be looking to leave his stamp on this final to enforce his first-choice credentials.
He should expect to start over Gonzalo Higuain having excelled in this tournament, as he’s joint-top of the scoring charts with Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic, bagging 10 goals and three assists in his last 11 appearances in Europe.
Arsenal also have their own absentees as key midfielder Aaron Ramsey has of course played his last game for the club already, while as previously mentioned Mkhitaryan won’t make the trip.
That will certainly weaken the Gunners’ creativity, though with their strikers in fine fettle and Rudiger missing from their opponents’ rearguard, we’re not overly concerned about their ability to find the net.
The bigger problem for Unai Emery’s men has been their defensive record, with as many as eight teams conceding fewer goals in the league this term.
They haven’t been helped by the long-term absences of Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding with cruciate ligament injuries, or indeed the woeful form of Shkodran Mustafi, though with fellow defender Kostas Mavropanos picking up a knock in their final league game at Burnley, the error-prone German may well be amongst the starting line-up.
Europa League Final Betting Tips
There was a time following the dismantling of Arsenal’s “invincibles” where Chelsea held a psychological advantage and absolutely bullied the Gunners with sheer physical prowess.
However, Jose Mourinho is long gone and these two sides have met each other on 10 occasions since 2016/17, with Arsenal coming out on top W4-D4-L2, as the majority of these games saw at least three goals and both teams find the net.
They’ll take further encouragement by the presence of Europa League specialist Unai Emery in the dugout, with the Spaniard having lifted this trophy a record three times, while Maurizio Sarri is yet to win a trophy in his managerial career to date.
At the prices, we’d have to side with the Gunners draw no bet.
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