Do you fancy Arsenal tonight?
Yes. If they play a high-energy game, disrupting Sarri’s precious pattern, they could win 2-1. Lacazette could score both goals, if Auba doesn’t get one first,
Why do you think Arsenal will edge it?
Because Rudiger, Chelsea’s most reliable centreback, is out, and Kante is only 50-50 with a knee injury. Unai Emery can dig out a result anywhere in western Europe, southern Europe and eastern Europe, he’s proved that again and again,
Should Emery start Cech in goal?
I wouldn’t, I don’t trust or like elderly goalkeepers. Look at Gomes in the FA Cup Final, Watford lost 6-0. I prefer guys like Jordan Pickford and Kepa because young keepers are less timid.
Will Eden Hazard want to leave Chelsea on a high?
Of course. He’s world class and thinks he can lift this Europa Cup. He is the most gifted player on the pitch. But a midfield of Barkley-Jorginho-Kovacic will not overwhelm Arsenal or dominate the game. Kova doesn’t assist or score, neither does Jorginho. Both are continuity players and football isn’t about possession, it’s about goals.
Can Arsenal contain Hazard?
Not for the whole 90+ minutes. He can wriggle away, play a cute pass, or hit a shot from outside the box before you can blink, let alone sprint five yards to make the block.
Do you believe in what the Italians call “the immutable law of the ex”?
Yes, Giroud will score. As a low ball comes skidding low into the goalmouth, the big man will place his body in front of the defender and plant his boot on the ground and the ball will hit his boot and fly inside the near post. He hasn’t really kicked the ball but it’s a goal.
Anything else to say?
Not really. For me the game starts at 7pm when the teams are announced and that’s when I might have a bet. The kick-off is at 8pm and it will be a fierce and exciting Europa League Final, despite the fact that these teams know each other so well.