The two London clubs go head-to-head at the Baku Olympic Stadium as they seek to end the 2018-19 season with silverware
Chelsea and Arsenal face off at the Baku Olympic Stadium in what is the first all-English Europa League final.
Maurizio Sarri’s side are already guaranteed Champions League football next season, but having finished fifth in this season’s Premier League that is not the case for Arsenal, whose participation hinges on victory on Wednesday.
The Blues finished as runners-up to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup while Unai Emery’s Arsenal side have never seriously been in the running for a trophy other than this, which would represent their biggest title since winning the Premier League in 2004.
Which of the London giants will come out on top in Azerbaijan?
|Game||Chelsea vs Arsenal|
|Date||Wednesday, May 29|
|Time||8:00pm BST / 3:00pm ET|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched on BeINSports and live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|TNT USA / Univision Deportes / UniMas||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 4K UHD. It can be streamed on BT Sport Live or from BT Sport’s YouTube channel.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2 / BT Sport 4K UHD||BT Sport Live / BT Sport YouTube|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Kepa, Caballero, Bulka|
|Defenders||Alonso, Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Emerson, David Luiz|
|Midfielders||Jorginho, Barkley, Pedro, Ampadu, Moses, Willian, Kovacic, Kante|
|Forwards||Hazard, Giroud, Higuain|
Chelsea were sweating over the fitness of N’Golo Kante until the last minute, but the French midfielder has passed a late fitness test to start the finale in Baku.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi had both played significant roles in this competition but miss out due to serious injuries, while Antonio Rudiger is also sidelined for Maurizio Sarri’s side.
Ex-Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud gets the nod ahead of Gonzalo Higuain to start in attack.
Chelsea starting XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Christensen, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Giroud, Hazard
|Goalkeepers||Leno, Cech, Iliev|
|Defenders||Sokratis, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Monreal, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Lichtsteiner|
|Midfielders||Guendouzi, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Xhaka, Torreira, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Saka, Amaechi, Willock|
|Forwards||Aubameyang, Ozil, Lacazette, Nketiah, Iwobi, Welbeck|
Arsenal largely have a familiar list of concerns to deal with, although midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has not travelled to Azerbaijan due to political reasons, which have left him fearing his safety in the country.
Midfielders Denis Suarez and Aaron Ramsey have both been absent for several weeks, while Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin are long-term headaches in the defence.
Petr Cech has been handed one last start before retiring. Fittingly, the Czech goalkeeper is a former Chelsea player.
Arsenal starting XI: Cech; Koscielny, Sokratis, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang
Betting & Match Odds
Chelsea are favourites to win this match with Bet365, priced 13/10. Arsenal are 12/5 outsiders and a draw is priced at 12/5, too.
Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.
The selection of Baku as the host city for the 2019 Europa League final has generated apparently limitless controversy, but finally Chelsea and Arsenal can focus on football, with kick-off fast approaching.
The remote Azerbaijani city may be an unlikely setting for such an event – it is believed that around half the ticket allocation awarded to the two London clubs had to be sent back as supporters could not find a way to travel – but one side will remember the venue for positive reasons.
A whole season’s worth of work will be distilled into 90 minutes for both clubs, with their perceived success or failure coming down to their performance on Wednesday. Indeed, Blues boss Maurizio Sarri’s job may boil down to this single result, with the Italian hinting on Tuesday that he may leave the post at the end of the season, having been prodded into a frustrated outburst as David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain clashed in training.
Chelsea’s route to the final has been a relatively simple one. Vidi, BATE and PAOK were easily dispatched in the group stages, while victories followed against Molde, Dynamo Kiev and Slavia Prague in the knockout rounds. Only when faced with Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals were they stretched, overcoming the Germans on penalties after a pair of 1-1 draws in which they twice fell behind.
Arsenal had a rather more testing passage after breezing past Vorskla, Qarabag and Sporting CP in the pools. They trailed against BATE and Rennes after the first away legs, but after beating the French side 3-0 have chalked up five successive wins, claiming notable scalps in the form of Napoli and Valencia en route to the final.
The Gunners, whose last European trophy was the Cup Winners’ Cup of 1994, are led by a Europa League specialist in the form of Unai Emery, who is chasing his fourth title in the competition. Indeed, the Spaniard says the silverware is more important than winning a place back in the Champions League next term.
“There are two targets here but the most important target for us is to win a title,” he said. “The second target is to help us to achieve the Champions League.
“Each title is very important for us, and for Chelsea too. We want to enjoy this moment, for our fans and also for ourselves. Chelsea will have the same idea.”
Their London rivals have enjoyed more recent success in Europe, having won the Champions and Europa Leagues back-to-back in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
And they are hungry for more success, as David Luiz underlined: “This competition is not about the Champions League. It is about a big trophy – everybody wants to win this competition when they start out in it, and we want a repeat of 2013, with a win.”
Chelsea’s desire to win the competition has been questioned due to their lack of plans for a victory parade, but there is little doubt that both sets of players want to be holding the trophy up come the end of the night in Baku.