Arch rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are going to meet in an all English Europa League Final on Wednesday night in Baku, Azerbaijan. The London derby is going to happen far from home this time but the excitement level among the fans is high.
Both the sides have come into the decider with commendable performances throughout the tournament. While Arsenal beat Valencia 7-3 in the semi-finals, Chelsea has been unbeaten throughout the tournament.
When and where to watch
The Final begins at 11 PM local time and 12:30 AM (Thursday) IST. Viewers can catch the action live on Sony Six and Sony Six HD. For online viewers, Sony LIV will be the platform for live streaming.
Arsenal have two motivations for winning the trophy at Baku. Firstly, they have not won any European trophy since 1994. They badly need to end this drought. Secondly, a victory will secure a place in the Champions League for the Emery Unai-managed team. They could not qualify directly because of finishing 5th in the English Premier League. Three-time Europa League winner Emery was quoted by BBC as saying, "There are two targets, the most important one is to win the Final on Wednesday."
Arsenal will be missing the services of Henrikh Mkhitaryan as the Armenian will not play for security reasons arising from disputes between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The manager also needs to decide whether he will field Petr Cech or not. The final will be the last match for the 37-year-old goalkeeper who is going to become Chelsea's Sporting Director next season. According to Cech, he is still focused on playing for the Gunners and win. "I feel that Arsenal need to win," he said.
Emery is also going to miss the services of Aaron Ramsey due to injury. The Juventus-bound midfielder has already played his last match for the team.
On the other hand, this could be the final match for Chelsea's manager Maurizio Sarri as the head of the team. He is linked with a move to the Italian giants Juventus next season. But Sarri has denied all the speculations and stated that he is far more concerned with the Blues at this moment.
This will possibly be the last match for Eden Hazard also in the Blues jersey as he is already being linked with Real Madrid for a move next season. " I just want to win the trophy. Whether I score or not does not matter. If it is my last game, it will be a perfect farewell," the Belgian asserted.
Chelsea will probably play without N'Golo Kante as the French defensive-midfielder got injured on Saturday. They also have a problem with the midfield as there are only three fit midfielders at this moment. The absence of Kante will be a major impediment also for the Stamford Bridge-based team.
Both sides are looking forward to win the coveted trophy and end the season with something to look forward to next season.