The 2020 FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea will take place today, Saturday – August 1 at the Wembley Stadium at 5:30pm.
It was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic but that will not take the vibes that come with the English oldest Cup competition’s final.
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Arsenal have won the competition more times than any other team (13) with Chelsea in third with eight wins.
It’s also a repeat of the 2016-17 final, where Arsenal won 2-1 under former manager, Asene Wenger.
Arsenal are more desperate that ever to lift the trophy this season as failure to do so will mean the Gunners will not play in Europe next season after finishing distance eight in the league.
Team news (Arsenal)
Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns.
The Gunners will be without defender Shkodran Mustafi, who underwent surgery on a hamstring issue suffered in the semi-final win over Manchester City.
Cedric Soares is cup-tied and misses out as do Pablo Mari (ankle), Gabriel Martinelli and Calum Chambers (both knee) – goalkeeper Bernd Leno is fit following his own knee injury but head coach Mikel Arteta has said Emiliano Martinez will start.
Arsenal provisional squad: Martinez, Macey, Leno, Bellerin, Sokratis, Luiz, Holding, Kolasinac, Tierney, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Torreira, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Ozil, Nelson, Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Nketiah.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek will miss the showpiece after picking up a minor injury in training on Thursday.
Chelsea’s luckless England midfielder had fought his way back to full fitness after a number of issues this term, but will now miss the Wembley contest.
N’Golo Kante is fit after hamstring trouble, while Willian is back having missed Sunday’s 2-0 win over Wolves with an ankle complaint.
Chelsea provisional squad: Caballero, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso, Mount, Giroud, Pulisic, Kepa, Christensen, Barkley, Abraham, Pedro, Hudson-Odoi, Tomori, Emerson, Kante, Willian.
What the coaches are saying
Mikel Arteta: Arteta has insisted that even winning the FA Cup will not salvage Arsenal’s season, but a trophy just eight months into his first managerial role will strengthen the impression the Gunners now have the right man in charge to right the ship.
“For me, this club deserves the best and you have to be fighting for every title,” said the Spaniard on the prospect of silverware and a place in the Europa League next season redeeming a miserable campaign.
“Obviously after everything that happened, if we are able to win the final and qualify for Europe, we can say it’s okay.
“But it’s not the level for this football club.”
Frank Lampard: Meanwhile, Lampard has set his sights on capping an impressive first season as Chelsea manager by leading the Blues to FA Cup glory.
“There were a lot of unknowns when I came in, could we move forward without Eden Hazard? We knew we had lost a massive player,” Lampard said.
“We’ve a real spirit within the group now and it’s a real team effort now.”
Lampard’s midas touch hasn’t been restricted to the young guns.
He coaxed consistency from Willian and brought Olivier Giroud back into the fold after the French striker had appeared set to leave in January.
“What we’ve done this season is take the opportunity to bring in the younger players and improve the existing players,” Lampard said.
How each team reached the final
Third round – Arsenal 1 Leeds United 0
Fourth round – Bournemouth 1 Arsenal 2
Fifth round – Portsmouth 0 Arsenal 2
Quarter-finals – Sheffield United 1 Arsenal 2
Semi-finals – Arsenal 2 Man City 0
Third round – Chelsea 2 Nottingham Forest 0
Fourth round – Hull 1 Chelsea 2
Fifth round – Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0
Quarter-finals – Leicester 0 Chelsea 1
Semi-finals – Man Utd 1 Chelsea 3