Football expert Ryan Elliott has two tips for Saturday's all-London FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea.
It’s going to be a bizarre, slightly eerie occasion, but the FA Cup final still throws up some interesting questions. First and foremost, it presents both Frank Lampard and Mikel Arteta with the opportunity of securing a maiden major trophy as manager – something which would overwhelmingly improve fan sentiment ahead of next season.
Favourites Chelsea have undoubtedly been better than Arsenal over the course of the season. Frank Lampard’s men achieved their primary objective, finishing in the top four, while Arsenal could only muster 8th, and while there were improvements under Arteta, there’s still so much work to be done.
In my view, this is shaping up to be a really interesting, exciting FA Cup final, and certainly more competitive than last season’s offering.
One thing that stands out when looking at previous results between Arsenal and Chelsea is the goals. In the last five meetings between the two sides, a grand total of 19 goals have been scored, and for this reason backing both teams to score looks a fairly solid play.
Chelsea, who have conceded as many league goals as Brighton this season, simply cannot get their act together at the back, while Arsenal are without a clean sheet in five matches, so it’s fair to say the goalscoring firepower of both outfits far outweighs their defensive solidity.
Cup finals are often played with caution at the forefront of both teams’ minds, but the sheer number of goals we’ve seen shared between Arsenal and Chelsea in their recent meetings suggests this’ll be another exciting one.
Along these lines, I’m also backing Olivier Giroud to score at any time.
The Frenchman, back in favour at Chelsea, will be absolutely desperate to score against his old club, and since the league’s resumption, he’s banged in seven goals from his 10 appearances – with two of his blanks coming as a substitute. That’s phenomenal.
The World Cup winning striker is the man for the big occasion, and considering his form, and his price, he’s well worth backing on Saturday.