Chelsea v Arsenal Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 29/05/19
Football specialist James O’Rourke (@JamesOR1) previews Chelsea v Arsenal and provides us with his best bets for Wednesday’s big UEFA Europa League Final by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +0.04pts
Chelsea v Arsenal Europa League Final Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 29/05/19
- Time: 20:00
- Venue: Olympic Stadium, Baku
- Channel: BT Sport 2, BT Sport YouTube Channel
For all that this is not necessarily the highest profile game taking place this week in the shadow of the All-English UEFA Champions League Final, Wednesday night hands Chelsea and Arsenal the chance to take centre stage in battling it out to claim the UEFA Europa League crown. For all that this is indeed a major European competition, much of the build-up has been focused purely around the destination and the lack of club supporters who will be in the stadium. UEFA have been criticised for staging the showpiece event in Azerbaijan. Between them, both clubs were issued with 12,000 sets in the 68,000 Olympic Stadium. Poor transport links between London and Baku, and rising costs for extended travel, has led to both clubs not being able to sell out their allocations. Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan won’t be involved for Arsenal because on the ongoing conflict between his country and Azerbaijan.
For all that this is a London derby played over 2,500 miles away, there are still several subplots to this game which make it more than just a final. The reality is that Chelsea will be in the Champions League next season, meaning Arsenal must lift the trophy to join them. Eden Hazard has been heavily linked with a switch to Real Madrid, so he is set for his final Chelsea appearance. Petr Cech will play his final match of his playing career in the Arsenal goal, before seemingly returning to Chelsea as their new sporting director. Rafa Benitez guided Chelsea to ths title in 2013, whilst Arsenal won the then-called UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup all the way back in 1994. The ‘Thursday Night Cup’ sees the final played on a Wednesday, but this is ultimately a game where everything is on the line for Arsenal, and one which they must emerge victorious from.
Chelsea remain hopeful that French international N’Golo Kante will recover from injury in time for this fixture. Three players that will definitely miss out because of injury are Antonio Rudiger, Reuben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Sarri must decide if Olivier Giroud starts up front, just as he has done for the vast majority of this UEFA Europa League campaign, or loanee Gonzalo Higuain. Pedro is another fighting it out for a starting role, but Willian could be preferred.
As has been well-documented, Arsenal won’t call upon the services of Henrikh Mkhitaryan due to security fears. The midfielder is Armenian, and there is an ongoing dispute between his home nation and Azerbaijan; where Wednesday’s final will take place. The decision itself was made by the player himself. Petr Cech is expected to start the game; in what will be his final match before retirement. Aaron Ramsey, Hector Bellerin, Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding and Denis Suarez remain out of action.
Potential Chelsea Starting XI: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Luiz, Emerson, Jorginho, Kovacic, Kante, Willian, Giroud, Hazard.
Potential Arsenal Starting XI: Cech, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Torreira, Kolasinac, Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Head To Head
- Wednesday’s UEFA Europa League Final will officially be the fourth meeting between these two London clubs this season. Both sides won their respective home meeting in the Premier League, but who could forget the International Champions Cup meeting in Dublin during pre-season. That ended 1-1, with Arsenal winning on penalties.
- These two rivals have met before in a recent cup final as well. The 2017 FA Cup Final was won by The Gunners by a 2-1 score, with Aaron Ramsey scoring a late winner at Wembley on the day.
- Over the last 14 domestic meetings, it reads five Arsenal victories, four for Chelsea and five finishing in draws inside 90-minutes.
- Arsenal won the latest H2H in January, but Arsenal have not won back-to-back encounters versus Chelsea since the 2010/11 Premier League season.
Key Stats & Facts
- The winner of this season’s UEFA Europa League will be given a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage. Chelsea have already confirmed their spot as a result of their third-place finish in the Premier League. It therefore means that Unai Emery’s team must win to take part in the elite competition for the next campaign. Should Chelsea win, then an extra UEFA Champions League spot is allocated to France’s Ligue 1.
- Across this season’s UEFA Europa League, Chelsea are the highest-scorers with 32 goals. Arsenal are the third-highest on 29, with beaten semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt separating the two. Chelsea have also had the most shots on goal in the competition. 229 to be exact. Frankfurt sit second in this category too, but still some 40 shots fewer than the Blues.
- Olivier Giroud is the joint-top scorer in the tournament alongside soon to be Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic. Arsenal however do possess joint Premier League top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
- For all that Arsenal scored ten more goals in the Premier League season, Chelsea conceded 12 goals fewer.
- Chelsea 11/8
- Draw 12/5
- Arsenal 9/4
I must admit I’m quite surprised to see the odds as they are. I have this done as being a much, much tighter clash than the bookies are prepared to price up. For all that this is a major European final, we can’t ignore the fact that Chelsea are already in the UEFA Champions League for next season, was is the prize on offer for the winner of this cup. Therefore, Arsenal simply have to win. Whilst Arsenal shouldn’t necessarily be favourites just because they need the win that bit more, I do think they are being discounted in quite a big way. After all, they are the ones who knocked Napoli and Valencia out in the last two rounds, winning all four legs. Chelsea on the flip side made heavy weather of knocking out Eintracht Frankfurt.
We can’t deny that there is little to separate these two teams however. That is why the prospect of extra time and possibly even penalties is something which has every chance of materialising. I’m still very much keeping Arsenal on side in this one, but just to play it a little safer, I’ll go with Arsenal To Lift The Trophy, which we can still get odds-against quotes, unlike for Chelsea.
Something good about betting on big cup finals is that player specific markets are often drafted up. Deciding upon which player that is likely to pick up a yellow card is always something that appeals me and the odds are generally quite attractive more often than not. I do think this is a game where Chelsea may see more of the ball. They’re the ones who play more patiently, whilst Arsenal will be content to play on the break given the pace of their attack. I’m therefore happy to have a play on Jorginho To Be Shown A Card.
Both of these teams are known for scoring late goals. Both managed to achieve 19 in the final 15 minutes of Premier League matches this season. Arsenal however scored 62% of their league goals in the second half, and they’ve netted six times in their run to the UEFA Europa League Final from 70 minutes onwards. Chelsea have actually done so seven times, plus they’ve faced much weaker opposition in comparison to The Gunners. I just can’t help but remember the fact that Arsenal do need this much more. Arsenal To Score Last is my final play.