Everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s cup final, with Antonio Conte’s Blues waiting to win their second trophy in a week
Chelsea are looking to secure the double against their London rivals Arsenal on Saturday in the FA Cup final, less than a week after they lifted the Premier League.
After John Terry and Gary Cahill jointly lifted the trophy after a 5-1 win over Sunderland, Antonio Conte wants to turn a very good season into a great one with victory over Arsene Wenger’s side who are looking to save theirs.
Arsenal go into the match after the disappointment of missing out on fourth place and the Champions League for the first time in 21 years.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been out of Chelsea’s match day squad with a back injury for the past two weeks but he is the only real doubt ahead of Saturday’s match.
The Chelsea youngster has only played a bit part this season and the Blues are expected to have a clean bill of health otherwise.
N’Golo Kante missed Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Middlesbrough and was only on the bench against West Brom but he made his comeback in the match against Watford.
Chelsea played a strong side against Sunderland, despite having little to play for as they aimed to ensure that all their star players were match fit, ahead of Saturday’s final.
Chelsea have no players suspended for the match and have had few issues with discipline all season. John Terry has been their only player to be sent off, in the FA Cup against Peterborough United.
The cut-off point for accumulations of 10 yellow cards passed two weeks ago and the Blues avoided seeing any of their players pick up bans. Diego Costa is currently Chelsea’s most booked player with 11 yellow
CHELSEA POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Conte will play his best possible side but there are places up for grabs in certain positions. WIllian and Cesc Fabregas are competing with Pedro and Nemanja Matic for spots in the team.
Chelsea have used the same core group of 15 or 16 players all season but Conte has preferred to resist the temptation to rotate his team – as the Blues avoid the extra fixtures that European football bring in 2016-17.
Michy Batshuayi is in fantastic form of late, with four goals in his last three games that included his title-winning goal away to West Brom but Diego Costa is expected to continue up front.
ARSENAL TEAM NEWS
Laurent Koscielny was given a straight red for a tackle on Enner Valencia as they beat Everton 3-1 on Sunday with 10 men. Gabriel was stretchered off and his injury has been described as “serious” by Wenger.
Wenger remains hopeful that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will make his return from his hamstring injury for the final but he has further absentees that include Santi Cazorla and Jeff Reine-Adelaide.
Shkodran Mustafi is doubtful for the match after suffering a concussion which could lead Arsenal to a defensive injury crisis. Kieran Gibbs is hopeful of a comeback after missing the Everton game with a thigh injury, as he has excelled since Arsenal’s switch to 3-4-3.
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
This will be the second FA Cup final contested between Arsenal and Chelsea. The Gunners triumphed in the 2002 FA Cup Final in Cardiff 2-0, with goals from Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg.
A win for Arsenal would see them claim their 13 th trophy, moving them one ahead of Manchester United on 12.
If Chelsea were to win, it would move them to eight FA Cup trophies alongside Tottenham (third overall).
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
The match is being televised live on BBC One and BT Sport in the UK. It kicks off at 17:30 BST.