Chelsea and Arsenal are playing the final game of Europa League in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Chelsea is a solid team who ended the season on 3rd place with 72 points and 63 scored goals and 39 conceded goals in 38 matches. In their last English Premier League match against Leicester, Chelsea was better team with 54% of ball possession, 4 shots on goal, 5 corner kicks and 86% of correct passes but neither team was able to score and game ended in a 0-0 draw which was enough for Chelsea to stay 1 point ahead of Tottenham. Eden Hazard is the best player in Chelsea’s team and will be leaving the club after this game to most likely Real Madrid. Ruben Loftus Cheek is only injured player in Chelsea while Kante, Rudiger, and Hudson-Odoi are listed as questionable. Chelsea has started this past season really great, was playing excellent soccer with lots of short passes and created chances, but after the Christmas break, everything has gone downhill for Chelsea. Their good and enjoyable game has disappeared and losses have started to pile up. Chelsea has really good players in every position but there was a lot of news about conflicts between players and coach Sarri with the most recent being from yesterday between David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain. So far Hazard is the only player leaving Chelsea and it will probably stay that way because Chelsea is not allowed to buy new players for the next 2 transfer windows due to some illegalities in signing young players.
Arsenal had a decent season and they ended in a 5th place with 73 scored goals. Arsenal’s biggest problem was defensive inconsistency and because of that Arsenal has conceded 51 goals which make them one of the worst team in English Premier League. In their last game in English Premier League against Burnley, Arsenal had a pretty good game with 61% of ball possession, 6 shots on goal and 86% of correct passes and has won 1-3. Aubameyang was the top goal scorer in Arsenal and one of the three top goal scorers in EPL with 22 goals and will lead Arsenal once more in this match. Hector Bellerin and Denis Suarez are both injured while Danny Welbeck and Rob Holding are listed as questionable. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is one of the most important players for Arsenal who unfortunately is not allowed to travel to Azerbaijan because of a political situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Defensively, Arsenal is not doing good while offensively, Arsenal is capable to destroy any team in the world and their coach Unai Emery has a lot of experience in playing in Europa League and winning this competition 2 times with Sevilla. Emery is one of the best coaches in the world when it comes to preparing knock out and final matches and I’m sure he will do it once more.
I’m not gonna focus on trends or past games here because this is the finals and both teams had plenty of rest and most of the important players are healthy and ready to go. Since Arsenal didn’t get qualified for Champions League through the EPL, and the winner of this competitions is getting qualified for Champions League, I’m giving a slight edge to Arsenal because they have a motive more than Chelsea and because Chelsea has been filling the newspapers with conflicts inside the team.