The FA Cup is the oldest and prestigious football competition in the world. The competition has always provided exciting clashes between the top teams in English football over the years. This season has been no exception as the two football giants in London, Arsenal and Chelsea meet at the Wembley Stadium in the final on August 1.
The season’s FA Cup final will be a battle of young and new rising managers with rejuvenated squads who are looking to bag a prestigious silverware for their teams this season.
In all FA Cup clashes between the two sides, Arsenal has won nine with Chelsea winning five. Their meetings in the competition have also produced six draws. Both teams will also meet each other in the finals for the third time, with Arsenal winning the previous two in 2002 and 2017. Arsenal is the record winners of FA Cups with 13. They last won the trophy back in 2017.
Chelsea has won the FA Cup 8 times, with the last one coming back in 2018.
Why Arsenal need this season’s FA Cup so badly
Arsenal needs the FA Cup title more than Chelsea because they finished the season on the 8th position on the league table, and they will not be able to make it to the Europa League come next season. Hence the only means of making it to the Europa League is to win the FA Cup. Once they win, they will automatically qualify for the group stage of the competition. They can only achieve that by beating Chelsea on August 1. Arsenal has had a splendid run throughout the tournament to reach the final. They pulled off a great upset against Man City in the semi-finals thanks to the brace from Gabonese international Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal’s impressive run to Wembley also included wins against newly-promoted Leeds United, Bournemouth and Portsmouth. In the quarter-finals, they defeated Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United 2-1. Arsenal has scored nine goals and conceded only two and kept clean sheets in three of their five previous games. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta needs his players to be on their A-game to give them a chance to lift the trophy. He will be counting on his captain Aubameyang to deliver the goods for him. Aubameyang has been without a doubt Arsenal’s best player ever since coming to the club, crossing the 50 goal mark even faster than the club’s all-time goal scorer Thierry Henry. With the right services from his teammates, he can deliver. Another player to look at is David Luiz, who has been the rock at the heart of the defense for Arteta’s side.
He had some miserable games during the first round of the season but has improved after the resumption of the league. David Luiz played a crucial part in the win against Man City in the Semi-finals. Arteta will be counting on him to use his experience to organize the defense very well. Luiz will also have a point to prove to his former team. Arteta will become the second manager after George Graham to participate in an FA Cup with Arsenal as a player and manager.
He could also become the first person to win the FA Cup with Arsenal as a player and a manager.
Can Frank Lampard win his first Trophy for Chelsea this weekend?
Chelsea’s boss Frank Lampard’s principal objective this season was a top-four finish, which is already in the bag. FA Cup glory would be a big bonus for Lampard in his first season as manager of Chelsea. There have been definite signs of Lampard’s football philosophy and identity on Chelsea already. Chelsea looks favorite, and much will depend on how they set up their team. Chelsea was excellent against Man United. Chelsea was in absolute control of the game against Man Utd in the Semi-final. Lampard’s side was more energetic, dangerous, aggressive. If his team plays the same way against Arsenal, Lampard will be celebrating his first major trophy as Manager.
Chelsea also had an impressive run to the final. They defeated Nottingham Forest, Hull City.
Chelsea also recorded a fashionable victory against the reigning League champions Liverpool. After that, they defeated Leicester City 1-0 in the quarter-finals. Lampard will be counting on Willian, Pulisic, and Giroud to be on top of their game. Willian has been fantastic this season, contributing the most to his team. Another player who has been in a superb form since the resumption of the league is Giroud. Some players prove themselves as cup specialists, and Giroud certainly fits that category. Giroud will be aiming to become just the second player after Frank Stapleton to score for and against a specific side in separate FA Cup finals. Giroud has won the FA Cup three times and has a lot of experience in the competition. If Chelsea wins the FA Cup, Lampard will be the first Englishman to win a major trophy for Chelsea as a player and coach.