Arsenal will face off against their arch-rivals Chelsea in the final of the FA Cup at the Wembley Stadium later today, and it promises to be an intense affair.
The two sides had a contrasting Premier League campaign as Chelsea managed to finish in the top four on the last matchday, while Arsenal finished a lowly eighth after a terrible season.
Arsenal probably have more at stake as winning the trophy will not only be Arteta’s first, but it will also help them make next season’s Europa League.
Lampard, too, will hope to lift his first piece of silverware with the Blues, after getting his hands on the FA Cup four times as a player.
Both sides have some incredibly good players, and here are five players to watch out for.
FA Cup final: 5 players to watch out for
#1 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored 22 goals during the recently concluded league campaign, and was a silver lining in a rather tumultuous year for Arsenal.
The Gabonese forward bagged a brace against Manchester City to take his side to the final and will hope to get his name on the score-sheet once again.
Aubameyang’s shooting accuracy has been impeccable this season, and with pace to burn as well, he could give the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta a run for their money.
#2 Olivier Giroud
Chelsea have been reaping dividends for not letting their veteran striker Olivier Giroud leave in the January transfer window as the Frenchman has plundered 6 goals in his last 7 outings.
The former Arsenal forward is adept at holding the ball and linking up play; perhaps one of the best in the English top-flight in that regard.
Arsenal, despite improving a lot lately, still have weaknesses at the back, and if Giroud can combine with the duo of Mason Mount and Pulisic, Chelsea could get the upper hand in the game.
#3 David Luiz
Now we know what you are thinking. Luiz has been inconsistent, and times infuriating this season, but he could be a useful weapon against Chelsea, whose defending has been shoddy this season.
Luiz will have a crucial role to play against his former employers, because of his ability to play out from the back and spray passes. Arsenal have players who are good on the break, something they showed when they knocked Manchester City out in the semi-final, and will look at Luiz to orchestrate play from the back.
Under Frank Lampard, the Blues like to press the opposition, but if Luiz and co. can negotiate the press, or play efficient direct football, they could expose Chelsea’s weak underbelly.
#4 Christian Pulisic
American international Christian Pulisic has been a vital cog in Chelsea’s attack, and the Blues will look at the former Dortmund winger to test Chelsea.
Pulisic has been in a red-hot form following the re-start, bagging goals and assists on a regular basis, and it will be difficult to keep him at bay if he gets going this weekend.
The 21-year old has averaged more than two dribbles a game, and when he turns on the afterburners, he is a hard player to stop, so the Arsenal defence could be in for a tough time.
#5 Dani Ceballos
In what could be his last game for Arsenal, Dani Ceballos will hope to finish his loan spell in London by lifting the prestigious FA Cup.
Part of a double-pivot in the midfield alongside Granit Xhaka, the Spaniard has been incredibly productive, and has done well to circulate possession and drive forward to link-up play.
Ceballos has fit perfectly under Arteta, and will an important role to play against Chelsea. The Spaniard’s future is undecided yet, and if he puts in a big performance today, Arsenal could fight to renew his loan spell.
Stats via Whoscored