It’s getting closer now – the first of this week’s double-header of all-English European finals as Chelsea take on Arsenal in a London derby in the Europa League final in Baku.
On paper, there’s not a huge amount between these two sides, with both likely to be feeling disappointed with how their seasons went, even if Chelsea at least got that bare minimum requirement of Champions League qualification by finishing third in the Premier League.
Their performances throughout the season have left plenty to be desired, however, and as we edge closer to the big game, it looks like there could be reason to start backing Arsenal to lift the trophy.
In fact, we’ve got as many as six reasons for you below. Here’s why you can expect Emery to end his first season at Arsenal with silverware…
1) Emery’s Europa League record
As if you need reminding, but the Spanish tactician has won this trophy a remarkable three times, with his Sevilla side very much a Europa League version of Real Madrid between 2014 and 2016 with three final victories in a row, including a very impressive performance against Liverpool in that 3-1 win three years ago.
While Emery’s overall start to life at the Emirates Stadium hasn’t always been that convincing, he has lived up to his reputation as a strong tactician when it comes to navigating two-legged European ties.
Bizarrely, even while this Gunners outfit were capitulating in the race for fourth in the Premier League, they put in a very convincing display in each leg of their semi-final against Valencia, in contrast to Chelsea struggling past Eintracht Frankfurt and eventually only going through on penalties.
In terms of total trophies won, it’s also worrying news for Chelsea, with Emery having ten pieces of silverware to his name in his career, while Sarri has none.
2) Chelsea look unsettled
It’s been far from the ideal preparation for the final from Chelsea.
Just look at this remarkable video clip below showing a little spat breaking out between David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain, while manager Maurizio Sarri stormed off the pitch during training.
Tempers fraying in the Chelsea camp? ?
Higuain and Luiz come together in training and Maurizio Sarri is furious! pic.twitter.com/obSZ51KGGd
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 28, 2019
While there has since been a fairly innocent explanation put forward by Chelsea, on Sarri’s behaviour at least, it still points towards a manager who’s nervous, and a camp whose team spirit seems to be somewhat lacking.
Pundits Martin Keown and Eidur Gudjohnsen also seemed to think the preparations by CFC players looked ‘rubbish’, with not a lot of particularly intense work going on ahead of this important tie.
All we’re saying is, if you’re an Arsenal player watching that tonight, you’ll be feeling that bit more confident about tomorrow night.
3) Maurizio Sarri uncertainty
Even without the incident above, there have been doubts over Sarri’s situation at Chelsea for some time anyway.
The Evening Standard recently reported that several players at the club could look to quit if the former Napoli boss remains in charge next season, while Calciomercato have reported he’s already reached an agreement to become the next Juventus manager.
This just does not look like a united squad, with the players seemingly at odds with each other and the man in charge of the team.