The FA cup final on Saturday will showcase two household names; Arsenal and Chelsea as they slug it out on Saturday 1st of August 2020. The two clubs are no strangers, aside from their rivalry, both teams come from London.
Twice they have met in the league this season; Chelsea came out triumphant at the Emirates stadium with a 2-1 victory. The reverse encounter at Stamford Bridge ended in a 2-2 draw.
Overall, Arsenal has won more games in the rivalry’s history, winning 76 times to Chelsea’s 65, with 59 draws. The last meeting was in January at Stamford Bridge.
Interestingly, the two clubs opted to hire their young ex-footballers as current coaches. While Mikel Arteta the Spaniard who played and captained Arsenal is at the dugout at Emirates, Frank Lampard, a former player, and a Chelsea stalwart oversee things at Stamford Bridge.
Between the two coaches, Mikel Arteta will be under pressure to deliver the cup. On his part, Lampard has already landed Chelsea a Champions League spot next season. It is on this note that Arteta will need all the tactics, commitment, and luck to overcome Chelsea on Saturday.
One whom he needs to look at for some inspiration and motivation is none other than his former manager Arsen Wenger.
Arsene Wenger in his days played a formation everybody thought was a flat 4-4-2 formation. On the contrary, in reality, the players regroup into a 4-2-3-1 formation once the game starts. For the successes of the invincibles, Wenger recruited Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit. These two midfielders became the epitome of the box-to-box style, simultaneously protecting the back four and prompting the attackers with probing passes.
He had a lot of successes with this formation because he had two capable lags at the base of the midfield in the person of Viera and Emmanuel Petit. Gilberto Silva filled in when Petit left. In Granit Xhaka Arteta has a semblance of Viera though he lacks his mobility. Ceballos’s mobility, combining with him, can get the desired result.
Arteta needs to study carefully how the Invincibles transition their games into the attack. Chelsea is traditionally a conservative team that lacks flair. On their day, they will punish any team that failed to utilize their chances. Lampard will deploy his team the same way Mourinho did in the last game Tottenham played Arsenal. The instruction is simple, wait for Arsenal; they will play, and they will make mistakes- pounce on their mistakes.
The FA Cup on Saturday will go home with the team that turns up well midfield. The middle of the pack is where Arteta needs to borrow a leaf from Arsene Wenger. Mostly from his invincibles set. Granit Xhaka, Ceballos, and Willock whoever plays has a lot of work to do in initiating the attack and protecting the defense.