Hope you enjoyed my Europa League Final Preview I’ve linked it so you can read if you wish. This weekend I’m going to be focusing on, in my eyes the best domestic cup competition in the world. Where David can beat Goliath and all sorts of other crazy stuff can take place. The Football Association Challenge Cup, known as The FA Cup. This years final pits two London rivals against each other. Arsenal vs Chelsea. The competition started on Saturday August 5th last year, and 9 months later this is the culmination.
Arsenal have reached the FA Cup final for the 3rd time in 4 years. Winning the previous 2 against Aston Villa and Hull City. They will want to keep up their strong record in the tournament over the recent years and have done that by reaching the final. They have had a favorable journey to the final facing 2 non-league teams along the way. In the 3rd Round they went to the North West and overcome Preston 2-1 thanks to a late Giroud goal. They then won impressively 5-0 on the road at St. Marys home of Southampton, the hosts fielded a weak team but this doesn’t take away from this fantastic result. They then faced non-league opposition twice beating Sutton United and Lincoln City 2-0 and 5-0 respectively. They then beat Man City 2-1 in the semi-finals at Wembley with some help from the officials counting out a perfectly legal goal from the sky blues. This has strengthend the appeal for a VAR (Video assistant Referee). They are here however and will look to do the business to save Arsene Wenger’s job. Maybe.
Chelsea are in their 1st final since beating Liverpool 2-1 in the 2012 final, days before they beat Bayern Munchen in their own backyard to win the Champions League (Preview coming soon). This year unfortunately for them they can win that trophy but have already won the league, so this trophy is a good omen for them. Chelsea beat 3rd tier Peterborough 3-1 at home in the 3rd round. Then 2nd tier London rivals (kind of) 4-0 in the next round at home. They travelled to Wolverhampton and beat Wolves 2-0 with goals by 2 Spaniards, Costa and Pedro. They then beat Manchester United 1-0 at home on Monday Night in the Quarter-Finals, thanks to a great strike by Kante after Herrera had been sent off for United. They then went on to beat Rivals Tottenham 4-2 at Wembley in the semi-finals to reach this stage. They have already won the league which will have been their main goal but this would be the cherry on the top of a great season.
So who is going to win? Well this season they have played twice, the 1st being at the Emirates when Arsenal battered Chelsea 3-0, this said the Chelsea team that day was unrecognisable to the one now. Also at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea won 3-1 but Arsenal also had a bad day at the office. Arsenal’s recent performance in this competition can only help them having only lost 1 game in 4 years. So it would be a disappointment if they were to lose. That said Chelsea have been dominant this season and with the exception of Tottenham are clearly the best team in England. This means that I’m going to say that Chelsea will win this match 2-0 and lift the FA Cup. In my eyes they have too much class for Arsenal who can be very hit and miss, but if it is Arsenal’s day expect this to be no pushover for the blues.
Also playing this week it is the DFB Pokal final with Frankfurt vs Dortmund in Germany. Barcelona vs Alaves in the final of the Spanish Copa del Rey. On the other side of the Atlantic the MLS’ biggest derby takes place as Seattle Sounders play the Portland Timbers. Also there are plenty of Play-Offs and Cup Final being played across the world so be sure to check them out. Also the U20’s World Cup is currently taking place in South Korea, Come on England.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, be sure to follow me on twitter at @JMUKSport