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It’s Cup Final day
Welcome! The FA Cup, the most magical of trophies in all England, comes to an end for another season today as Arsenal take on Chelsea. It’s Arteta vs Lampard, two ex-players of the respective clubs looking to win their first trophy as manager. Who can call it?
Chelsea have the better players, team, form and league position so you’d think have a big advantage going into this… but Arsenal are much improved and more than capable of lifting the trophy. Both sides will almost certainly adopt 3-4-3 formations, with Lampard likely to mirror the system that Arteta has developed to make use of the players he has available, and Chelsea’s team in that shape is simply stronger.
Arsenal are a lot weaker defensively, with Rob Holding and David Luiz prone to error in particular. Kieran Tierney has made a real difference since joining and regaining fitness, and brings much needed knowledge of how to routinely win trophies. He won everything he competed in domestically for Celtic. Saka may well start as a left wing-back and spend most of the game attacking, something that will require Tierney providing a lot of cover.
For all the mistakes at the back, they have a really potent strike force. Aubameyang is the goal machine, Lacazette gets shouted at by Arteta a lot for not pressing as instructed, and we may even see Nicolas Pepe work his magic on the Wembley pitch.
Christian Pulisic is the danger man for Chelsea, a player who shifts the ball so quickly between both feet that defenders have a hard time working out when to time their tackles. Giroud could win a trophy at the expense of his old team, Kovacic will keep things ticking over, and the defenders will try to protect their goalkeeper. Willy Caballero will probably start over Kepa, as Lampard’s confidence in his club’s record signing drops ever deeper towards the core of earth.
Kick off is 5:30pm and you can watch the game on BBC One or BT Sport. Alternatively you can follow the action online with us right here in this liveblog, or treat us like a handy friend and read along while taking in the match.