Chelsea and Arsenal will compete for the Europa League in an all-English final in Baku. For both teams, winning the competition would be the way to save a season that has been stingy of satisfactions in the league, where Manchester City and Liverpool have made the void, soon reducing the fight for the title to a matter of two.
But how do the two London teams arrive at this derby where the Europa League victory is played?
STATE OF FORM OF CHELSEA
Maurizio Sarri’s first season on Chelsea’s bench was turbulent to say the least. After a good start in the championship there was a crisis of results that soon excluded the Blues from the title race.
At a certain point of the season, after the terrifying 6-0 suffered by Manchester City of Guardiola, the bench of the former coach of Naples seemed about to jump, also because of a difficult management of a locker room perhaps not accustomed to have to deal with a technician like the Tuscan one.
Chelsea arrived at this Europa League final fresh from qualifying for the next Champions League: the 3:0 at Watford and the simultaneous draw of Manchester United, in fact, gave Londoners the mathematical certainty of the return to Europe more important, a goal declared at the beginning of the season.
Sarri can therefore look forward with confidence to the final act of the season, Baku’s final against Arsenal, which could lead him to raise his first trophy as a coach. The Tuscan coach can count on a Kepa in excellent shape, as demonstrated by the two penalties scored in the semifinals won in the lottery against Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as a Jorginho who finally seems to have returned to the levels of his Neapolitan experience.
The sore point, however, is the defense, which as admitted by the same technician, has not yet managed to assimilate his defensive patterns. However, in a dry game anything can really happen and Sarri counts on the desire to raise a trophy by his players and especially Higuain and Hazard, with the Belgian who could be at his last in the Chelsea jersey.
STATE OF FORM OF THE ARSENAL
For Emery’s Arsenal, victory in the Europa League is likely to be crucial to be able to play the next Champions League, given that at the moment the Gunners are equal to points with Tottenham in fourth place, but in reality fifth for a worse goal difference.
This means that unless the Spurs faux pas in the last round of the league, Arsenal only has the Europa League win as a viaticum to return to the Champions League.
However, there is confidence in the environment, both because in Europe the team is transformed, becoming a real goal machine, as demonstrated by the victory by 4 to 2 in the return of the semi-final with Valencia, and because Emery is a true specialist of the Europa League, having won it 3 times with Sevilla.
The Gunners in the Baku final, however, will have to do without Ramsey, who closed the season early, and perhaps Mkhitaryan, because of the political tensions between Armenia, the player’s home country, and Azerbaijan.
BOOKMAKERS’ QUOTAS FOR THE EUROPE LEAGUE FINAL
Obviously the bookmakers have already begun to analyze what could be the outcome of the final in Baku. The balance seems to be leaning in favor of Chelsea, with Sarri who, according to the bookmakers, could therefore be able to raise the first trophy of a career that arrived late at great levels.
In favor of the Blues there is the fact of being in a better position in the championship, even if in a European final and even more in a derby not only national, but also citizen, since you face the two most important teams in London, the predictions must be taken with the pliers.
However, looking at the odds of the most famous online sports betting sites, you can see how the victory of Hazard and his teammates is given at 1.65 times the bet placed, while a success of the Gunners is given at 2.10. An outcome to the penalty shootouts, which could materialize considering the importance of the stake at stake is given instead to 5.75 times the bet, a quota certainly interesting for those who want to bet.
OUR PREDICTION OF THE EUROPEAN DERBY BETWEEN CHELSEA AND ARSENAL
Chelsea this year has lost both the finals it has played and therefore will definitely want to reverse the trend. Sarri is also aware that his reconfirmation is not taken for granted, because despite having achieved the goal set by the club at the beginning of the season, namely the qualification in the Champions League, the feeling with the club and with part of the locker room has never blossomed.
The only way to guarantee a second year at the helm of Chelsea is to win the Europa League. However, in our opinion Emery’s Arsenal is slightly favored, considering not only the caliber of the opponents faced during the journey in the Europa League, where Chelsea faced the first major obstacle only in the semifinals, but also the experience that the Gunners’ coach has in this competition, where it can be said to be practically at home, having won it on 3 occasions with Sevilla.
The certainty is that what will be staged in Baku will be a great game where there will be emotions for those who love football.