Do Arsenal Have What It Takes to Beat Chelsea in the FA Cup Final?
The 2017 FA Cup final has all the makings of a classic encounter. While Chelsea are seeking the Premiership double, having already won the league, Arsenal will be hoping to turn around an otherwise disappointing season with a victory at Wembley. Here we take a look at some of the key factors in this upcoming clash of titans.
On the Arsenal side, there are two options for goalkeeper; either Petr Cech who has featured heavily in the Arsenal line up this season as their primary goalkeeper and a player who has demonstrated exceptional skills on the pitch or David Ospina. So far during this FA Cup it is David Ospina who has featured more heavily, playing in three games to Cech’s two.
In defence, Arsenal have at their disposal a group of four players who have consistently performed well this season; Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny. Despite Arsenal’s weaker than expected showing this season, there is still a lot of confidence in these players amongst fans.
Arsenal have recently shown a preference for a split midfield with four midfielders backing up two attacking midfielders who in turn hang just behind the striker Again in this regard Arsenal have plenty to choose from; Mesut Ozil is the top scorer amongst the midfielders with 12 goals while Theo Walcott takes the mantle for the attacking midfielders with 19. Upfront, Alexis Sanchez seems the most obvious choice with far and away the best performance on paper of any of Arsenal’s strikers.
For a game with such high stakes, the importance of psychological factors shouldn’t be underestimated, and while Chelsea’s fans are still riding the high from the confirmation of their Premier League champion status, Arsenal’s fans are contending with internal divisions. Tuesday’s game against Sunderland saw thousands of empty seats as fans boycotted the Emirates Stadium in protest at Arsene Wenger’s perceived mismanagement of the squad.
While this didn’t seem to deter Arsenal in their victory over Sunderland, the FA Cup final is a much more high stakes affair and the smallest insecurities amongst players could have huge consequences.
The Bookies’ Favourites
The bookies favourites are Chelsea, although many are still predicting a game that will go beyond 90 minutes and ultimately be decided in extra time or by penalties. What is surprising, or perhaps not given the current animosity between the club and its fans, is that many Arsenal fans are also putting money down on Chelsea either out of a lack of confidence in their own side or so that, one way or another, they avoid disappointment on the day. For those looking to take a punt themselves all the major bookmakers will be taking bets although currently only longer term offers are available and these will differ from the bets available in the days, and hours, before the game itself.
There are a variety of different betting options available, from final score to first goal scorer to man of the match. There are even more specialised offerings form some bookmakers concerning how much extra time will be played or how many penalties will be taken before a winner is decided. Those who want to bet on the match, should check out the Free Bets website for a list of the latest bookmaker promotional offers.
Few games receive as much attention as the FA Cup Final and as match day nears the number of predictions and tips will rise and the odds are likely to shift around. For those interested in FA Cup Free Bets 2017 remember that while Chelsea seem to be the current favourites there is still everything to play for and a bet on Arsenal could still pay off.
Arsenal are still very much in with a chance at Wembley and a victory there would not only be an excellent consolation prize for an otherwise disappointing season but could also reignite hopes of finishing in the top 4.