The London derby has a lot of high stakes usually but this time in the FA cup, the stakes are higher for Arsenal than they are for Chelsea.
Arsenal has not qualified for any European league (Champions League and Europa League) and must win the FA cup to gain entry in the Europa League. Both the managers will be keen to deliver silverware in their first season in charge of their respective clubs. A resurgent Chelsea led by club legend Frank Lampard will be keen to bring home the FA cup to go along with an already secured top 4 finish in the Premier League. While Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta would be keen to make a stronger impact on arsenal fans and the player by winning the cup.
Both the managers have won the FA cup as players a combined 6 times with Lampard winning 4 during his playing days at Chelsea and Arteta winning 2 during his time at Arsenal as a player.
Arsenal will have financial repercussions too if they don’t secure a Europa league berth as European football will help Arsenal mitigate some economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in reduced budgets for all clubs. Arsenal is without their star goalkeeper Bernd Leno and they will also miss defender Mustafi through injury whereas Chelsea have a full strength squad.
The resurgence of Olivier Giroud and the sparkling form of their American winger Pulisic will tilt the odds in Chelsea’s favor but one shouldn’t undermine Arsenal who has the brilliance of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Chelsea has a goalkeeping conundrum with the erroneous form of Kepa forcing Lampard to play his deputy Willy Caballero in goal for the last few matches of the season.
Arsenal’s David Luiz and Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud will be facing their Ex-clubs in this mouth-watering clash which starts at 10 P.M. IST on Ten Sports and Sony Liv.