Arsenal face Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday night for what promises to be an enthralling battle
Chelsea have recently been crowned Premier League champions after a hugely impressive first season under Antonio Conte while Arsenal have endured their worst season under Arsene Wenger thus far, failing to finish inside the Top 4 for the first time since the Frenchman took over.
The Gunners will now face the prospect of UEFA Europa League football which is a big change in scenery for Wenger’s side, so an FA Cup victory could be just the thing to take the sting off what has been a season to forget.
For Antonio Conte, it represents a chance to seal what has been a mightily impressive first season in English football as a victory for Chelsea will mean that the Italian will complete a domestic double in his first season in charge of Chelsea.
A lack of Champions League football was not the only blow that Arsenal were dealt last weekend, as they could be without several key players going into this fixture due to a mixture of injuries and suspensions.
Laurent Koscielny was sent off for an ill-timed, dangerous tackle on Enner Valencia against Everton and will sit out the final, while Gabriel Paulista also picked up an injury in that fixture and will also miss out.
Alexis Sanchez is carrying a thigh injury but featured against Ronald Koeman’s side, although the Chilean had to be substituted in the second half. Despite still carrying the injury, Sanchez will almost certainly start in what could be his final fixture in an Arsenal jersey.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could also miss out an while face a late fitness test, while Shkodran is a huge doubt with a suspected concussion, having sat out the 3-1 win over Everton at the weekend which means Per Mertesacker is likely to start against Chelsea.
There are also reports that David Ospina could get the nod ahead of Petr Cech, while Kieran Gibbs will also face a late test to see if he is fit. Nacho Monreal will likely feature in the back 3 as Arsene Wenger is short of options and should Chamberlain fail to be ready in time, Hector Bellerin will start at right wing-back.
Up front, Wenger has been alternating between Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud so it remains to be seen whether Wenger will opt for the Englishman or the Frenchman, although Welbeck looks more likely to start against the Blues.
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