Chelsea will be quietly confident of sealing a domestic double when they square off against injury-hit Arsenal at the Wembley on Saturday. The deserving Premier League victors are fresh off the monumental and dominating title win and while many are pointing out the lack of motivation or the dip in intensity going into the fixture, rest assured Antonio Conte will make sure all such talk does not make its way into Cobham.
The Blues bounced back after a depressing and morale-sucking season where Chelsea’s perennial caretaker boss, Guus Hiddink, made sure they don’t suffer the ignominy of finishing outside the Top 10 having been crowned Champions the year before. And Abramovich made a canny and subsequently smashing choice of hiring the honest and hard-working toil of Antonio Conte which came as a breath of fresh air after the mind games and manipulative nature of Mourinho’s second reign at the Stamford Bridge.
Now that we are in the post-season phase with the FA Cup to be taken care of and the transfer window on the verge of opening, there is an unusual amount of activity despite the apparent lull in the number of matches and the competitions.
The Final promises to be an exciting encounter with Arsenal, the current holders, squaring up against the current Premier League holders. Arsene Wenger, with his Wembley experience especially when it comes to matter regarding the FA Cup, will back himself but as Conte has already shown, he is more than ready to smash all the notions and the assumptions into the 2nd tier of the stadium.
PREDICTED 3-4-2-1 CHELSEA LINEUP VS ARSENAL
The winner of the Golden Glove, Thibaut Courtois, will be handed the responsibility to notch up another clean sheet and keep the likes of Sanchez and Giroud at bay.
The 3-man defence will see Azpilicueta, Luiz and Cahill resume their effective partnership and will look for a final dominant display in the season. But having had a fair bit of time in assessing the players, Wenger might look to expose the cracks which emerged in the backline towards the end of the season, mainly when Luiz and Cahill were exposed to pace on one on one situations.
The two wing backs will be Moses and Alonso.
While people might expect Conte to go in with Kante and Matic to counter Arsenal’s vibrant midfield, we feel he might take a gamble with Fabregas from the beginning. The desire to win another trophy and that also against Arsenal will see him charged up and ready to give his best with an all-round display and save Chelsea millions in the summer transfer window.
Kante is an automatic choice alongside him.
Eden Hazard is a certain starter and will take up the left flank while Conte might persist with the industry and set-piece prowess of Willian in place of Pedro.
Diego Costa will lead the line and will love to continue his controversial history with the Arsenal defence.