Arsenal vs Chelsea: The storylines ahead of tonight's Europa League final

Leicester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Tonight will see Arsenal take on Chelsea in the Europa League final in Baku.

Here, GIVEMEBET looks into some possible outcomes from tonight's match, and the potential storylines to come out of it.

Petr Cech’s finale

Arsenal’s man between the sticks for the last four seasons announced his retirement earlier this year, and what better way to depart than to add another European medal to his already cramped trophy cabinet? Petr Cech can go one better, by winning against the side that made him a legend.

Signing in 2004, Cech played at Stamford Bridge for 11 years, winning all there was to be won. He is the clubs most capped overseas player and holds the record for number of clean sheets, not just at Chelsea (with 228), but in the Premier League also. Combining the 40 he kept during his time at Arsenal, Cech’s Premier League overall total is 202. For perspective, that puts him 75 clear of the nearest active player Joe Hart and 102 ahead of David de Gea.

Can he sign off in style? GIVEMEBET Cech Specials (90min markets only):

Cech to save a penalty – 19/1
Cech to score an own goal – 14/1
Arsenal win to nil – 4/1

Familiar faces

When the teams face each other on Wednesday, it won’t be the first time key players from either side have faced each other in a European final.

The last ever UEFA Cup final took place between Werder Bremen and Shakthar Donetsk 10 years ago, and it was in Istanbul that Mesut Ozil and Willian squared off against each other. Both 19 years old at the time, Willian and the Ukrainian side got the better of the Germans, winning 2-1 after extra time.

Their careers have somewhat mirrored each other, both arriving in England to their respective clubs in 2013. While Ozil may have the better strike rate, Willian has won the most silverware, pocketing two titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup versus Ozil’s three FA Cups. Neither have won a European trophy for their current side, and it will be about to change for one of them.

Will Ozil even up the European haul? GIVEMEBET Specials:

Willian to score from outside the box – 10/1
Ozil to get an assist – 15/4

Arsenal v Chelsea - Carabao Cup Semi-Final: Second Leg

The dreaded penalty shoot-out

When the UEFA Cup was launched, the final was played over two legs and coincidentally the first ever final was an all-English affair as Spurs were victorious over Wolves in 1972. This format ran for 26 years and on three occasions the winner had to be determined by penalty shoot-out.

The competition then moved to a tense, one-match winner take-all format in 1997/98, and since then, the tie has gone to extra time on seven of the 21 finals, of which three required a penalty shoots-out. The last final to go to penalties was in 2014, when Sevilla won the first of their three straight Europa titles and were managed by current Arsenal manager Unai Emery, so the Arsenal coach is aware just how tense things can get.

The Gunners themselves have not been involved in a European shoot-out for 10 years, when they lost to Roma in the Champions League round of 16 and are overall 2-2 in shoot-outs in Europe.

Chelsea are no strangers to penalties as they were required in the semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt. The Blues have suffered both highs and lows, memorably losing to Man United in the 2008 Champions League final before capturing the title in the same way against Bayern Munich in 2012.

Chelsea v Eintracht Frankfurt - UEFA Europa League Semi Final : Second Leg

Will they be required this time around? GIVEMEBET Specials:

Match to go to Extra time – 23/10
Chelsea to win on penalties – 11/1
Arsenal to win on penalties – 11/1

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All odds accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to fluctuation. T&C’s apply. 18+. www.begambleaware.org

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