Chelsea vs Arsenal: Europa League Final Betting Preview
May 28, 2019
For the first time since 2008, we have an all-English European final. Chelsea and Arsenal are heading to Baku in the Europa League final and the neutrals couldn’t have asked for a more interesting spectacle.
There is bad blood between these two clubs and seeing them face off on the European stage will be a fascinating watch. It will be a test of character over ability, as both sets of players will be keen to right their wrongs from their disappointing campaigns in the Premier League.
Both managers are in need of a victory too, but for very different reasons. Fancy a punt on the highly-anticipated event? I’ve picked out a few markets that look to hold some strong value.
Arsenal to Win – 21/20 at Betfred
When a piece of silverware is on the line, both teams will always be desperate for victory. However, in Arsenal’s case, the Europa League trophy is not the biggest prize that can be achieved this Wednesday night, it’s Champions League qualification.
After finishing 5th in the league, the Gunners have been granted a lifeline to qualify for the prestigious competition next season. They will need a victory to do so and they couldn’t have asked for a better man in charge to guide them through the final. Unai Emery is of no stranger to this position, having won this tournament a record three times before.
The Spaniard likes to put emphasis on his attacking powers, a system that has seen his side overcome the likes of Rennes, Napoli and Valencia on their route to the final. Admittedly though, they have been defensively poor this season, with mistakes and mishaps at the back being their eventual downfall in the league.
Despite this, their dynamic duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continue to bail them out of trouble. They have 13 goals between them in the Europa League this season, contributing to Arsenal’s impressive tournament record of 11 wins in just 14 games. Their lethal partnership is too hot to handle and we expect the two to help fire Arsenal to a victory inside 90 minutes.
Olivier Giroud to Score – 43/20 at 888sport
Domestically, things haven’t quite gone to plan for Giroud at Chelsea. His record of 5 goals in 40 league games isn’t a pretty sight, but in Europe, he is a different animal.
The Frenchman is currently the Europa League top scorer, with 10 goals in just 14 appearances. Giroud has been Chelsea’s main talisman in the competition this season, flourishing in games where his side has retained possession and created chances from out-wide. As we saw against Dynamo Kiev last March, when Giroud gets an opportunity in the box, he takes his chance.
Arsenal’s centre halves have had a torrid time this season trying to cope with opponent’s movement in the final third, and the Frenchman must be licking his lips at this upcoming fixture. The travelling Gunners will be labelling this predicted outcome as ‘inevitable’ too, as Giroud would love to get one over his former side.
Both sides have weaknesses at the back and equally enough firepower going forward to expose their opponents. If Chelsea are to grab a goal, it is likely to come in the shape of their European maestro.
Granit Xhaka to be carded – 9/5 at Unibet
Some disciplinary records just have to be applauded and Xhaka’s 13 yellow cards this season is certainly worthy of a special mention. Playing in that holding role, the Switzerland international’s duty lies with protecting his back four, in one way or another.
Getting caught on the break has been a frequent story in Arsenal’s season so far, as spaces often up for their opponents to burst into. This is an aspect of play that Chelsea will try and capitalise on, particularly through the likes of Pedro, Willian and Eden Hazard.
The latter is the Blues’ most dangerous outlet and the Belgian drifting into central areas of the final third could pose problems for Xhaka in the middle. Chelsea like to overload through the midfield and Ross Barkley will also be ordered to support Hazard and preoccupy the Arsenal figures in their own half.
It will be a tense affair this Wednesday and tensions will inevitably spill over at one point. If the stats are anything to go by, Xhaka to be carded at 9/5 is a punt with some strong value.
Build the 25/1 Accumulator at Betfair
Each of the mentioned markets hold their own respected value, but if you fancy all three outcomes to come in together, you can build the accumulator at 25/1 with Betfair.
As mentioned, Arsenal have huge incentive to triumph in Baku, more so than their opponents. Many pundits tipped the Gunners to win this competition when Emery took over, and the Spaniard has treated the competition with respect and priority since their opening group game. He is the most successful manager in the 21st century when it comes to the Europa League and this kind of experience is vital on the big stage.
In contrast, Chelsea are being led out by Maurizio Sarri , a manager who has never got his hands on a piece of silverware. That isn’t a crafty dig at the Italian, but it is unfamiliar territory for the 60-year-old. Thrown into the mix all the speculation surrounding Sarri’s future and one has to wonder how prepared the Blues will be against a rallied up Arsenal side.
Giroud to score and Xhaka to be carded are markets that have been specifically highlighted, but the stats are there to justify such predictions. The Frenchman has excelled in Europe this season, whilst Xhaka has the most yellow cards out of the entire Arsenal squad.
The bookmakers offering the best Europa League final betting odds
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As an experienced sports writer, Josh has been published across various different platforms, writing about his beloved club Manchester United and other footballing topics. He also covers a range of other sports, specialising in UFC and Formula One.