Arsenal and Chelsea face off in the FA Cup Final on Saturday evening, hoping to end the season in a flourish. The Blues are looking to secure The Double while Arsenal are desperate to make this season a success after failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Heading into the Wembley clash, Chelsea are favorites but must be wary of a wounded Arsenal, who defeated the Blues 3-0 back in September. We take a look at the key battles to expect from a typical London Derby.
Diego Costa vs Rob Holding
On any given day, this looks like a mismatch. The likes of Koscielny, Gabriel and possibly, Shkodran Mustafi are out of the game, which means that The Gunners are in a defensive crisis. Young centre half, Rob Holding is likely to come up against the snarling Diego Costa, in what could be his last match for Chelsea.
Holding, since coming into the side following the switch to 3-4-3 by Arsene Wenger has impressed, and was particularly exceptional in the semifinal against Manchester City last month.
Granit Xhaka vs N’Golo Kante
Triple footballer of the Year, N’Golo Kante has been exceptional this season, and will be looking to end the season with another trophy win, as he ie becoming something of a serial title winner. However, Granit Xhaka may have other ideas.
The 23-year-old Swiss has been derided for costing more than Kante, while not offering anything near the former Leicester destroyer, and will want nothing more than to put a stop to all the ridicule by negating the Frenchman’s influence.
Alexis Sanchez vs David Luiz
Alexis Sanchez is seemingly on his way out of Arsenal. The 28-year-old has lifted the Gunners almost singlehandedly all season, yet it wasn’t enough to see his team qualify for next season’s Champions League.
His 29 goals this season have been nothing short of remarkable, and his potential opponent on Sunday, David Luiz may have a torrid time coping with his exceptional pace and movement.