As for Arsenal, their supporters might suggest that winning this trophy would be just desserts for Arsene Wenger and bring the curtain down on his time at the helm of the club in fine style. He will resign at the end of the season, won’t he?
Victory at Wembley on Saturday might persuade him otherwise, but the Frenchman’s job has been made all the more difficult by the absence of up to four of his defenders: Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs and Gabriel. That’s hardly ideal prior to a season-defining fixture.
As luck would have it, Chelsea – buoyed by lifting the Premier League trophy – have no injury problems to speak of. When the luck is with you….
It’s hard to look past that list of absentees as far as Arsenal is concerned, and even jotting down a potential central defensive partnership on paper – Rob Holding and Per Mertesacker? – will have the Gunners faithful coming out in a cold sweat.
Assuming Chelsea score at least once then Arsenal will need to find the net to force the game to extra time at the very least. They have had no problems doing so of late with 13 in their last five, but for some reason we fancy this Chelsea side to be a tough nut to crack. If you cast your mind back to their semi-final, Conte was content for Spurs to have plenty of the ball, with his side defending deep and in numbers. Ultimately, they prevailed.
The rumour mill is suggesting that Danny Welbeck faces a battle to be fit too. He is much maligned of course, but his presence here could have made the world of difference to the Gunners. Pacey going forward and hard working when not, the England man is a big miss for Arsenal.
There’s nothing not to like about the general 4/5 available on a Chelsea win; expect them to complete the double in fine style.
The narrative here is that Chelsea will presumably take advantage of Arsenal’s lack of depth at the back, and so finding a goals market to back them is smart.
There’s a few options, with most opting for Chelsea to score two or more; that’s fair enough.
But we quite like the huge value on them to score in both halves at 4/1. It’s not beyond the question that that will occur, and while cup finals are generally tightly contested affairs an early goal here will change the whole complexion of proceedings.
Big games call for big time players to come to the fore, and Eden Hazard has been proven to deliver when the moment comes (unless Jose Mourinho is his manager of course). You might remember his brace against Spurs that ended their title hopes in 2015/16, and of course his crucial goal that killed the semi-final as a contest as well.
The Belgian is a best price of 7/5 to find the net at any time on Saturday, and given Arsenal’s defensive woes that is too good an opportunity to miss.
Chelsea to Win (4/5 with bet365)
Chelsea to Score in Both Halves (4/1 with Betfair)
Eden Hazard Anytime Goalscorer (7/5 with William Hill)