Uefa Europa League final: Chelsea vs. Arsenal predictions, team news, TV, live stream, betting odds
London rivals go head-to-head at the Baku Olympic Stadium on Wednesday
Uefa Europa League final: Chelsea vs. Arsenal
- When: Wednesday 29 May
- Where: Baku Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
- Kick-off time: 8pm (BST)
- TV channel and live stream: BT Sport 2 and YouTube
- Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
The build-up for the 2019 Uefa Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal has been overshadowed by travel and ticket concerns for supporters, Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s withdrawal, Maurizio Sarri’s future and Petr Cech’s next job.
Despite a turbulent few weeks the focus is now on which London club can lift European silverware on 29 May at the Baku Olympic Stadium.
After finishing third in the Premier League Blues manager Sarri will be aiming to win his first career trophy with the Stamford Bridge club.
The Italian, who is being linked with Juventus, is under pressure to win silverware and according to reports he could be sacked if Chelsea lose against their London rivals.
Meanwhile, Gunners boss Unai Emery knows that victory in Azerbaijan will secure his side a place in next season’s Champions League.
Spaniard Emery is a three-time Uefa Cup/Europa League winner from his days as Sevilla head coach.
TV and live stream details
The all-English final will be live on BT Sport 2. The match kicks off at 8pm and BT’s coverage begins at 6.30pm.
The broadcaster has also confirmed that the final will be available to live stream for free on its app, online at BTSport.com and via its YouTube channel. Wednesday’s clash will also be free on Virgin TV.
Team news and possible starting XIs
Chelsea team news
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is a major doubt for the final because of a knee injury. His chances of making the final were rated as “50-50” by Chelsea boss Sarri on Tuesday.
Should French World Cup winner Kante be ruled out he would join Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Antonio Rudiger on the injury list.
BT Sport reports that with Kante looking doubtful Chelsea could line up with Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley in midfield.
Olivier Giroud has scored ten goals in the Europa League this season and looks certain to face his former club. Giroud is expected to be supported in attack by Eden Hazard and Pedro.
Arsenal team news
The Gunners are without midfield duo Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the final. Ramsey has injured his hamstring while Mkhitaryan has not travelled over fears for his safety.
Right-back Hector Bellerin also remains on the long-term injury list. However, the London Evening Standard reports that striker Danny Welbeck has travelled with the squad and could make the bench. Welbeck has not played since breaking his ankle in November.
In attack playmaker Mesut Ozil is expected to provide the ammunition for star strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Standard and Independent both expect Petr Cech to start against his old club.
It was reported last week that the Arsenal goalkeeper, who signed from the Blues in 2015, retires this summer and he is expected to return to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea’s new sporting director.
The final will be Cech’s last match of his playing career, but Metro reports that many Arsenal fans want to see first-choice keeper Bernd Leno start in Baku.
Gunners boss Emery said: “How can we not believe in Petr Cech after all he has done for us? He deserves our trust because his career tells us he has been amazing first as a gentleman and second as a professional goalkeeper.
“He is a great man who is nice in his behaviour. This will be his last match and I want to do something important with him in the final moment of his career.
“Petr can start or he can not start. I am going to decide. But the decision will be taken with great respect.”
Predicted starting XIs
How Chelsea and Arsenal could line up in Baku, according to the Independent.
- Chelsea possible starting XI: Kepa, Alonso, Luiz, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Barkley, Hazard, Pedro, Giroud
- Arsenal possible starting XI: Cech, Kolasinac, Monreal, Koscielny, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Torreira, Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang
What the managers are saying
Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea
“I want to think only about the final. Then I have a contract with Chelsea for two years [there is an option for a further year beyond 2020]. So, first of all, I will speak with Chelsea. But this is not the moment to discuss this.
“Now we have to think only about the final because our feeling is that we deserve to win. For me, at the beginning of the season, it was really very difficult to understand my players, to understand the mentality. But, after a very difficult month in January, in February they started to change. Or probably I changed, I don’t know.
“In this moment I love them because I have 20-22 wonderful men and wonderful players. So now I’m really very happy with them.
“I have to consider the future. And I have to consider that I love English football, I love the Premier League.”
Unai Emery, Arsenal
“[Champions League qualification] is our objective. We knew it was going to be difficult. We have the possibility to achieve that. Our possibility is to win a title and play in the Champions League next year.
“Now I can say the same as when we started. It’s going to be difficult. We can be, first, happy for this challenge and with a very big responsibility to do all to achieve that.
“Our targets are in two ways to go to the Champions League and after to play with the titles. We are going to do two objectives. Above all is to enjoy and play with all our good spirit.
“This competition is improving a lot. The last year’s big teams have played in the final. Chelsea v Arsenal, I hope that can be a final in the Champions League, they and we have some of the best players in the world.”
Predictions: who will lift the Europa League trophy?
Tom Doyle, London Evening Standard
“It is difficult to separate the sides heading into the final, though Chelsea’s strong run-in, coupled with Arsenal’s collapse in league form, should make the Blues slight favourites. While Arsenal’s front line is a match for anyone, their defence has struggled time and again this season - and that will give Sarri’s side the edge if [Eden] Hazard is anywhere near his best form. Emery is a strong European tactician, but the Gunners’ end-of-season slump means he needs a number of players to regain form against a Chelsea side who found their stride at the perfect time. Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal.”
Jude Summerfield, 90min.com
“While Chelsea’s record in the Europa League this season is formidable, Unai Emery’s history in the competition is perhaps scarier for Blues fans. Arsenal dominated Chelsea during the 2-0 win at the Emirates, managing to completely nullify Eden Hazard, something they’ll need to do again in Baku. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been brilliant towards the end of the season and they may make the difference on the night. Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal.”
Mark Lawrenson, BBC Sport
“Who will win it? It is hard to say, because both teams are so inconsistent and both also have brilliant individuals who are capable of being match-winners. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is one of them. This is almost certainly his last game for the club, with Real Madrid circling, and that probably just tips the tie in the Blues’ favour for me. Prediction: Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal.”
Gill Clark, Bleacher Report
“Chelsea have enjoyed the stronger season, but injuries to key players will weaken Sarri’s side. Arsenal have impressed in the last two rounds of the competition and have the added motivation of trying to qualify for the Champions League. Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal.”
Tom Kershaw, Independent
“Aaron Ramsey is a huge loss to the Gunners, while Eden Hazard will be buoyed to finish his career at Chelsea in a flourish and has the star quality to twist the game in the Blues’ favour. It’s tactician vs tactician between the two managers, with Emery boasting a slight edge, however, we expect Chelsea to exploit the space behind Arsenal’s forward-rushing wing-backs and edge a fascinating all-English final. Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal.”
Ian Wright, former Arsenal striker, speaking to the Daily Mirror
“Obviously I want Arsenal to win and I think Arsenal might just nick it simply because of the two guys up front.”
Paul Higham, Sporting Life
“It’s a desperately difficult one to call this, with Chelsea having a stronger side and the best player on show, but Arsenal have a decent recent record against them and can be devastating going forward on their day and could easily win this. Chelsea are favourites for good reason though, and preference must be for them to see it through with Arsenal’s defensive weakness just too much to trust. Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal.”
Robin van Persie, former Arsenal striker, speaking to the BBC
“Personally, I think Arsenal have the edge. They’re a little bit better. But Chelsea have Eden Hazard and he is a very special player - at any time he can come up with something.”
The Football Faithful
“While Chelsea go into the game as favourites, we reckon it would take a brave man to bet against an Unai Emery side in the Europa League. Despite only being 47-years-old, the Spanish coach is the joint most successful manager in Uefa Cup/EL history, having won the competition three times between 2014-2016 with Sevilla.”
The Stats Zone
“The Europa League final in Baku will welcome two London clubs to the Azerbaijan capital for what should be a classic encounter. Both teams have won one match apiece in the league but Chelsea have been the better side over the season and Hazard may just give them the edge in a close-fought match.”
Europa League final betting odds
Prices according to Oddschecker, as of 29 May.
- Chelsea to win: 5/4
- Arsenal to win: 5/2
- Draw: 5/2
- Draw 1-1: 6/1
- Chelsea 1-0: 17/2
- Chelsea 2-1: 9/1
- Arsenal 1-0: 10/1
- Arsenal 2-1: 11/1
- Draw 0-0: 12/1
- Chelsea 2-0: 12/1
- Draw 2-2: 13/1
- Arsenal 2-0: 17/1
- Chelsea 3-1: 18/1
- Chelsea 3-0: 25/1
- Chelsea 3-2: 28/1
- Arsenal 3-1: 28/1
- Arsenal 3-2: 33/1
- See Oddschecker for more scores