Arsenal out to break European trophy drought against Chelsea | Gooner Talk

25
May

Arsenal out to break European trophy drought against Chelsea


Written by Alam Pirani

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Arsenal meet Chelsea in the final of the Europa League in Baku on May 29 aiming to claim their first major European trophy since 1994.

The Gunners would secure a spot in next season’s Champions League with a victory over the Blues – an outcome that would cement the progress made under manager Unai Emery this season.

Arsenal are priced at odds of 6/5 to lift the trophy and many fans will be eager to use the Genting Bet sign-up code to back them to achieve that feat.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss the final after he failed to receive satisfactory assurances from UEFA over his safety in Baku.

The 30-year-old has refused to travel as a result of ongoing political tension between his native Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The UK ambassador for Azerbaijan, Tahir Taghizade, has blasted Mkhitaryan over the decision, claiming there would be “absolutely no problem” if the midfielder played in the final.

His decision is a blow to Emery who already has plenty of other absentees to contend with. These include Aaron Ramsey who has been ruled out of the game with a thigh injury.

Danny Welbeck, Denis Suarez, Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding are also on the sidelines for Arsenal’s first European final since 2006.

The Gunners started this season’s Europa League in fine form, picking up 16 points from a possible 18 to win Group E ahead of Sporting Lisbon.

They suffered away defeats against BATE Borisov and Rennes in the first two knockout rounds, but strong performances at the Emirates Stadium ensured their progression on each occasion.

A tough test was expected against Napoli in the quarter-finals, but Arsenal swept into the last four with an impressive 3-0 aggregate success.

A 7-3 overall victory over Valencia in the last four was a further statement of intent and Arsenal are likely to be difficult to beat in the final.

They last faced Chelsea in Europe back in 2003/04, losing out 3-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Arsenal have never previously beaten an English side in Europe, but they will take plenty of heart from their recent record against Chelsea.

The Gunners’ have lost just one of their last eight meetings with Chelsea in all competitions and defeated them 2-0 in their last match in the Premier League back in January.

Having claimed the trophy three times with Sevilla from 2014 to 2016, Emery knows what it takes to win this competition.

Chelsea are unlikely to go down without a fight, but Arsenal look a good bet to end the season on a high note and win the 2019 Europa League final.


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