Tonight we take one step closer towards the official end of the European season, as the penultimate game (for the most part) is played in Baku. It’s pretty ridiculous that the game actually is taking place in Baku after everything that has happened in the build-up to the encounter, but nonetheless, we just have to accept the fact that it is indeed going to happen.
Chelsea will face Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League final, in a game that is kind of odd when you think about it. On one hand you’ve got Chelsea who have already qualified for the Champions League, have a manager on the verge of leaving, and a set of fans that haven’t even travelled to the destination of the final (for the most part). On the other hand you’ve got Arsenal who need to win the final in order to secure a place in the Champions League next season, have a manager that the fans are behind 100%, and have put together a decent following for the game.
The differences are quite clear and they’re there for everyone to see, and now, we just have to wait and see what happens during the actual match itself. Some believe Eden Hazard is going to be the difference maker, whereas others believe this is the time for Aubameyang and Lacazette to prove themselves to the world on the big stage.
BBC has all of the build-up to the all-English final, but to be honest, we still need to allude to the report from talkSPORT which kind of tells you all that you need to know regarding the ticket situation and chaos surrounding the final.
We won’t go on about it too much, but we do think it’s pretty obvious now to suggest that Azerbaijan should not be hosting another game of this magnitude anytime soon. We have nothing against the people of the country whatsoever, but instead, we simply believe that there are many, many other countries that are logistically easier to select as a host for big time games like this one.
The Champions League final in Madrid seems to serve as a perfect indicator of that, although UEFA still hasn’t offered out enough tickets which is kind of ridiculous when you think about the scale of the game itself.
We think Arsenal have this one in the bag all things considered, but of course, you just never know what could change once the whistle blows and we get underway. The best hope for the Blues is going to be getting under the skin of Arsenal, because it’s quite clear that they’re going to be targeting and neutralising Hazard throughout the course of the 90 minutes – and potentially extra time.
As a warm up to the Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool this is going to be a really fun showdown, but beyond that, the big storyline here is whether or not Arsenal can become the fifth club to book their ticket into the Champions League next season.