Football Predictions

Chelsea v Arsenal: Five predictions for the 2019/20 FA Cup final

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 9:00, 1 August 2020

It’s an all-London affair in the 2020 FA Cup final as Arsenal will face Chelsea at Wembley.

The match is a rematch of the 2017 final, in which Arsene Wenger’s boys denied Antonio Conte a debut domestic double in English football with an impressive 2-1 win. Neither side is as good as they were then, but there’s still plenty of quality that will take the pitch on Saturday.

  • Arsenal XI: Martinez; Holding, David Luiz, Tierney; Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Pépé, Aubameyang, Lacazette
  • Chelsea XI: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Giroud, Pulisic

The Blues will fancy their chances having finished four places and 10 points ahead of Arsenal in the Premier League table, with the Gunners missing out on European football as a result of finishing 8th. However they know that if they win the FA Cup they will make their way back into the Europa League, so that will be a tremendous motivator for Mikel Arteta’s men.

Here’s five things we think will happen in the 2020 FA Cup final:


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1. Chelsea will win

Neither Frank Lampard nor Mikel Arteta ever lost an FA Cup final as a player. Arteta won both of his and Lampard was triumphant on an incredible four occasions. So while neither man is accustomed to losing, one of them will have to. And sorry, Gunners, but the Blues have the edge here.

Put quite simply, they’re a better team than Arsenal. The Premier League table shows that. And while there is no doubt Arteta is going to build something impressive at the Emirates (if given the proper backing), Lampard is simply further along in that process. Chelsea don’t have a superstar forward like Arsenal do but the squad is otherwise chock-full of the kind of attacking players that can make the difference in big games like this.

Relevant 888sport odds*:

  • Chelsea to win: 11/1
  • Arsenal to win: 20/1

*Enhanced odds special offer for new customers (see above)

2. There will be goals

Here’s the thing about both Arsenal and Chelsea: neither are overly fond of defending. Or at least, they’re not very good at it. Chelsea conceded 54 goals this season. 54! Arsenal let 48 ship, too, so they’re not much better. In their default systems both teams commit to attack and leave their defenders exposed.

So even though you’d expect Arsenal to adopt their tactics from the semi-final win over Manchester City, and though you’d imagine the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka could cause problems on the break, Chelsea have the kind of urgency in their attacking style that City do not and are also be able to out-shoot the Gunners.

Relevant 888sport odds:

  • Both teams to score YES: 7/10
  • Over 2.5 goals: 22/25

3. It’ll be a clean game

Fun fact: in Arsenal’s semi-final win over Manchester City there wasn’t a single yellow card issued, and they only picked up three in their victory against Liverpool (two of which came very late). They aren’t a dirty side, and neither are Chelsea, who also didn’t get booked in their semi-final victory over Manchester United (nor in their loss to Liverpool a few days later).

In the last match between these two sides, a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, there were just three yellow cards (albeit one red, more on that in a second) despite all the action the match contained. Sure if it was Chelsea 2005 vs. Arsenal 2002 this match would have been a bloodbath, but these are not those teams, so it’ll be a clean affair.

Relevant 888sport odds:

  • Under 4.5 cards: 8/13
  • Over 4.5 cards: 59/50

4. David Luiz will David Luiz

Everyone loves David Luiz. Even if you don’t rate him as a player because of his defensive blunders, you cannot deny the man is sheer entertainment. He defends like each match is his very last, giving everything he has (not always to be the best effect).

Take for instance the semi-final win against Man City, where he was absolutely impeccable at the heart of defence. But then contrast that with the earlier match against City where he was awful and got red card, or even the aforementioned 2-2 draw with Chelsea where he also got sent off. What’s more, Frank Lampard actually played with David Luiz at Chelsea and managed him briefly. Will he know exactly how to get inside the Brazilian’s head?

So while he will probably play well against Chelsea, he will inevitably blot his copybook by doing something silly and gifting at least one goal, perhaps even more.

Relevant 888sport odds:

  • Chelsea to be awarded a penalty: 7/2

5. Olivier Giroud will be the match-winner

Olivier Giroud has played 12 domestic cup games at the new Wembley stadium, and he’s won them all. 12 games played and 12 games won, delivering seven trophies along the way, four of those being FA Cups. The Frenchman won a trio of cups with Arsenal, bagging a goal in the 2015 final while coming off the bench to create the game-winner in 2017 with a sublime cross for Aaron Ramsey to score against Chelsea.

Yes, that’s right Oli Giroud has played this match in an FA Cup final before and he helped decide it. Now he’s switched sides to Chelsea, you can expect he will do the same again. After all, when the pair met in last season’s Europa League final Giroud bagged the game’s first goal and even assisted Chelsea’s fourth in a rout.

So come Saturday, whether he’s starting or on the bench, Giroud should see the field at some point and when he does, we think he’ll strike the decisive blow against his old club. Oli Giroud: heartbreaker. It’s just fated to be…

Relevant 888sport odds:

  • Olivier Giroud to score anytime: 17/10
  • Olivier Giroud last goalscorer: 5/1