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FA Cup final preview: Arsenal vs Chelsea

Arsenal will take on London rivals Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

The Gunners reached a record 21st final with a 2-0 win over Manchester City. The victory was their first against the Cityzens in eight games. They had lost the previous seven meetings.

The Blues, meanwhile, made the last stage of the competition for the 14th occasion following their 3-1 victory over Manchester United. The capital outfit ended a six-match winless run against the Red Devils in the process.

The Blues completed their recent Premier League campaign on a positive note as they qualified for the Champions League. However, the season was one to forget for the Gunners as they finished eighth, their lowest-ever league position for 25 years.

Recent head-to-head meetings:

In December last year, Frank Lampard’s side picked up a 2-1 comeback win at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League. The Blues were second best in the opening half, but came up with a strong second-half response with goals from Jorginho and Tammy Abraham in the final 10 minutes.

In January, the teams settled for a share of the spoils at Stamford Bridge. The Gunners were a man down after just 27 minutes when David Luiz committed a professional foul on Tammy Abraham in the box. The game finished 2-2 with the visitors coming from behind on two occasions to earn a deserved point.

The duo previously met in the FA Cup during the 2017 final where the Gunners picked up a 2-1 win. The Blues played with 10 men for the final 30 minutes after Victor Moses was sent off. The west London side were able to take revenge last season when they secured a comfortable 4-1 win over the Gunners in the Europa League final and denied them a Champions League group stage spot.

Players to watch out for:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal: With 27 goals across all competitions, Aubameyang is definitely the main scoring option for the Gunners. He answered his critics with a brace against Manchester City in the semi-final and has the opportunity to replicate the feat to win his first silverware with the club. He has netted four goals from his previous three games across all competitions.

Olivier Giroud – Chelsea: The former Arsenal man was the game-changer in the Europa League final last season with one goal and two assists. He will be aiming to pile more misery on his ex-employers, particularly with his exceptional run of scoring form. He has netted one goal in each of his previous six starts for the Blues across all competitions.

Predicted Score:

Arsenal have won each of their previous six FA Cup finals and three of those titles have come since 2014 at the Wembley Stadium. Despite this, we are fancying Chelsea to win their second title in three years. Both teams are bound to make defensive mistakes, but the Blues have more creative players in their ranks, who could give them the edge.

Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea

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