IF you've lost track of the 2019/20 season by now, that's completely fair enough, but come on, look sharp, it's time for the FA Cup Final. And not just any FA Cup final, but a London derby version with all sorts of historical connotations.
It will be the third meeting between Arsenal and Chelsea at this stage of the FA Cup – no other fixture has featured as prominently in final history. Also, something which has not happened in the competition since the 1890s might well happen twice on Saturday. If Olivier Giroud and David Luiz play, they will become the third and fourth players to appear in an FA Cup final for both clubs in a specific fixture.
To aid your pre-match calculations, here's a run-down of the latest FA Cup Final odds.
Arsenal: When they walk out at Wembey, Arsenal will set a new record for FA Cup final appearances (21). They've won the trophy 13 times, and although Man Utd run them close with 12 wins of their own, it's quite a step back to the chasing pack of Chelsea and Tottenham (both 8).
Since Michael Owen's late brace broke Arsenal hearts in 2001, the Gunners have won their last six FA Cup finals, including two against Saturday's opponents Chelsea in 2002 and 2017. At 47/20, they go into this match as the underdogs, just like they did recently against Liverpool and Man City….
Match odds: Arsenal to win (47/20)
Draw: Four of the last five FA Cup finals to go to extra-time have involved Arsenal or Chelsea with the most recent being the Gunners' 3-2 victory over Hull in 2014. The most recent fixture between the sides, at Stamford Bridge in January this year, ended 2-2. Both sides have plenty of attacking threats and a clear defensive vulnerability, so the draw might not be a bad shout.
Match odds: Draw (13/5)
Chelsea: This will be Chelsea's seventh FA Cup final appearance at the new Wembley since it reopened in 2007. They have some way to go to catch up with Arsenal, but under Roman Abramovich, they've made a decent start. The Blues have won seven of their last nine FA Cup finals, although of course Arsenal were both exceptions.
However, the last time these sides met in a final – just last year in the Europa League final – Chelsea ended up with a comfortable 4-1 win. The South Londoners finished four places and 12 points ahead of their North London rivals this season, and they've won three of the last five derbies between the sides.
Arsenal: This will be the third time Arsenal and Chelsea have met in the FA Cup final – no fixture has featured often in English football's showpiece event. On both previous occasions Arsenal scored twice and won (2-0 in 2002, and 2-1 in 2017). They are 9/5 to score over 1.5 total goals, a bet that would have landed in five of their last eight matches overall, and would have landed if placed for Chelsea opponents in four of their last eight.
Odds: Arsenal to score over 1.5 goals (9/5)
Chelsea: The Blues have a fine recent goal-scoring record against Arsenal however. Since August 2018, Chelsea have scored two or more in four of their matches with Arsenal, including of course last year's 4-1 hammering in the Europa League final. Lampard's side are usually good for a goal too – a bet of over 1.5 Chelsea goals would have landed in 11 of their last 14 games in all competitions.
Odds: Chelsea to score over 1.5 goals (11/10)
Total: Since 2016, there have been 13 meetings between Arsenal and Chelsea, and there have been at least three goals on 10 occasions. That's a stat that you can also apply if you look at all fixtures for both teams across the 2019/20 season. In Arsenal's 45 domestic matches so far this season, there have been on average 2.74 goals per game. For Chelsea, also 45 matches, that number rises to 3.22. That over 2.5 goals price looks good value.
First goal scorer
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's strong end to the season saw him finish just one goal behind Jamie Vardy in his quest for a second straight Premier League Golden Boot and decide the FA Cup semi-final in clinical fashion with a brace in Arsenal's 2-0 win over Man City. With an opening goal against Chelsea already under his belt this season, after December's 2-1 defeat at the Emirates, and seven goals in his last eight games in all competitions, Aubameyang is the man most likely for the Gunners at Wembley.
Chelsea: For a lot of the season, Olivier Giroud was an afterthought for Frank Lampard who prioritised integrating Tammy Abraham, but that's changed of late as Giroud hitting top form had a significant impact on Chelsea's successful top four bid. After scoring eight goals in his first 22 games this season, Giroud has six in his last seven, including four opening goals. He also bagged the opener in last year's 4-1 Europa League final victory over Arsenal.
Odds: Olivier Giroud to score first (5/1)
— Olivier Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_) July 19, 2020
Any time goal scorer
Arsenal: If the immutable law of the ex is a factor to consider for Giroud, to a lesser extent, it's a factor consider for David Luiz. It's also worth considering that, across the Premier League season, only bottom side Norwich (12) conceded more goals from corners than Chelsea (10). His confidence is surely up after his redemptive defensive masterclass in the semi-final against Man City, and stranger things have happened…
Odds: David Luiz to score any time (12/1)
Chelsea: After one goal in his previous 26 matches, Mason Mount has rediscovered his goal-scoring touch right at the business end of the season. The youngster has two goals in his last three games – the winner against Man Utd in the semi-finals, and the winner against Wolves last Sunday.
Odds: Mason Mount to score any time (22/5)
There have been three penalties in Arsenal's 12 post-restart matches, and four in Chelsea's 11 such games, including Bruno Fernandes' late consolation for Man Utd last time out at Wembley. In the previous three matches between Arsenal and Chelsea – all played with VAR of course – there have been two. An 11/5 price for a penalty to be awarded is worth your consideration.
Odds: Penalty kick awarded (11/5)
Arsenal won both halves of their semi-final against Man City courtesy of two Aubameyang strikes. The price for them to repeat only half of that feat is 11/10 compared to 11/20 for Chelsea. Arsenal's fine recent record at Wembley, plus Chelsea's shaky defence, makes the first of those prices a good option.
Arsenal have taken the lead in nine of their last 11 matches – they're 14/5 to score first and win the game. However, in their last home game against Chelsea back in December, they took an early lead only to be defeated with two late goals.