Thursday 14 December 2017

Chelsea v Arsenal: Everything you need to know about today's FA Cup final

Antonio Conte and Arsene Wenger
Antonio Conte and Arsene Wenger

Can Chelsea seal the double or will Arsene Wenger end a troublesome season on a high?

What is it?

It is the climax to English football's premier knockout competition: The FA Cup final. This edition features Arsenal and double-chasing 2016/17 Premier League champions Chelsea.

When is it?

The match will take place at Wembley on Saturday May 27, 2017.

What time is kick-off?

The action will begin at 5.30pm. Here is the explanation from the FA: "Traditionalists may argue for a 3pm kick-off but, quite simply, we want as many people across the world to enjoy this event. The FA Cup final is the highlight of the domestic football calendar and it attracts a huge domestic and international audience.

"The 5.30pm kick-off slot on Saturday attracts the most viewers domestically and globally."

What TV channel is it on?

As has been the case in recent years, viewers will have two options because BBC and BT Sport are both broadcasting the match. Alternatively, bookmark this page and follow the latest goings on with our rolling blog.

What is the team news?

Arsenal:

Arsenal's injury crisis has handed captain Per Mertesacker an unlikely opportunity to start his first match of the season in Saturday's FA Cup final against Chelsea and the German centre back plans to make the most of it.

Mertesacker, who underwent knee surgery after picking up an injury during a friendly last July, was sidelined all season until he came off the bench in Arsenal's final Premier League game against Everton on Sunday.

The 32-year-old now looks set to start at Wembley with fellow defenders Laurent Koscielny (suspended) and Gabriel Paulista (knee injury) out of the final, while Shkodran Mustafi (concussion) and Kieran Gibbs (thigh injury) are major doubts.

ipanews_7058e93b-bc8a-4848-a07a-33aef67f7e29_embedded1605284101

Chelsea:

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Conte must decide whether to start Pedro or Willian behind his chosen striker while Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic are battling for a place in central midfield.

John Terry is likely to be named on the substitutes' bench at Wembley for what will be the 36-year-old's final match before leaving Chelsea this summer.

Provisional squad: Courtois, Begovic, Alonso, Fabregas, Zouma, Ake, Kante, Hazard, Loftus-Cheek, Moses, Pedro, Costa, Matic, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Luiz, Eduardo, Aina.

What are they saying?

Aaron Ramsey:

"I think the way we started the (home) game in the first half was very good. ... We were very quick, we counter-attacked well, closed them down, got about them." Ramsey told the club's website.

"It was a different game (away) and we perhaps let individuals have a bit too much space. Hazard went on a bit of a run and put the ball in the net.

"We can't let that happen again, we have to be right in his face and stop that at source."

David Luiz:

"I went to Paris for two years and won all the titles in France.

"I had a great life. I had everything in Paris and then I took a risk to come back to one country that was not that happy with me.

"That's why it was a risk. And I love the risk. In your life if you don't take a risk you're not going to taste something new. Not just in your professional life, I think it's every day.

"I cut my salary to come back here. But it's okay. God has given me a lot so I'm very happy with this.

"I don't like to stay always with the easy life so that's why I took the risk, and today I am very happy. It was the right decision."

2kerr.png
Chelsea's David Luiz. Photo: Getty

Who are the previous winners of the competition?

The competition has been going since 1871 - but no one wants that much detail. So we shall begin this trip down memory lane arbitrarily in 1987.

1987–88 FA Cup final: Wimbledon (won 1–0 against Liverpool)

1988–89 FA Cup final: Liverpool (won 3–2 against Everton)

1989–90 FA Cup final: Manchester United (drew 3–3 with Crystal Palace)

1989–90 FA Cup final (R): Manchester United (won 1–0 against Crystal Palace)

1990–91 FA Cup final: Tottenham Hotspur (won 2–1 against Nottingham Forest)

1991–92 FA Cup final: Liverpool (won 2–0 against Sunderland)

1992–93 FA Cup final: Arsenal (drew 1–1 with Sheffield Wednesday)

1992–93 FA Cup final (R): Arsenal (won 2–1 against Sheffield Wednesday)

1993–94 FA Cup final: Manchester United (won 4–0 against Chelsea)

1994–95 FA Cup final: Everton (won 1–0 against Manchester United)

1995–96 FA Cup final: Manchester United (won 1–0 against Liverpool)

1996–97 FA Cup final: Chelsea (won 2–0 against Middlesbrough)

1997–98 FA Cup final: Arsenal (won 2–0 against Newcastle United)

1998–99 FA Cup final: Manchester United (won 2–0 against Newcastle United)

1999–2000 FA Cup final: Chelsea (won 1–0 against Aston Villa)

2000–01 FA Cup final: Liverpool (won 2–1 against Arsenal)

2001–02 FA Cup final: Arsenal (won 2–0 against Chelsea)

2002–03 FA Cup final: Arsenal (won 1–0 against Southampton)

2003–04 FA Cup final: Manchester United (won 3–0 against Millwall)

2004–05 FA Cup final: Arsenal (won 0–0 against Manchester United)

2005–06 FA Cup final: Liverpool (won 3–3 against West Ham United)

2006–07 FA Cup final: Chelsea (won 1–0 against Manchester United)

2007–08 FA Cup final: Portsmouth (won 1–0 against Cardiff City)

2008–09 FA Cup final: Chelsea (won 2–1 against Everton)

2009–10 FA Cup final: Chelsea (won 1–0 against Portsmouth)

2010–11 FA Cup final: Manchester City (won 1–0 against Stoke City)

2011–12 FA Cup final: Chelsea (won 2–1 against Liverpool)

2012–13 FA Cup final: Wigan Athletic (won 1–0 against Manchester City)

2013–14 FA Cup final: Arsenal (won 3–2 against Hull City)

2014–15 FA Cup final: Arsenal (won 4–0 against Aston Villa)

2015–16 FA Cup final: Manchester United (won 2–1 against Crystal Palace)

What are the odds?

Chelsea to win: 1/2

Arsenal to win: 6/4

Irish Independent Sport Star Awards

Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport