Charlie Nicholas predicts Arsenal v Chelsea FC in FA Cup final
Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to beat Chelsea FC in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday evening
Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to secure a narrow win against Chelsea FC to lift the FA Cup trophy at Wembley on Saturday evening.
The Gunners are looking to cap a mixed first season under Mikel Arteta with some silverware this weekend after Arsenal finished in eighth spot in the Premier League table.
The former Arsenal captain took over the reins of the north London club from Unai Emery back in December but Arteta has struggled to revive the Gunners’ ailing fortunes.
However, Arsenal showed signs of promise under Arteta in their 2-0 victory over Manchester City in the semi-final after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice.
Chelsea FC are also looking to win their first piece of silverware under Frank Lampard after the Blues legend steered the west London side to a fourth-placed finish.
The Blues were 3-1 winners against Manchester United in the last four as David De Gea played his part in helping the London side reach the FA Cup showpeice.
Former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas believes that the Gunners will approach the FA Cup final with confidence thanks to their performance in the previous round, tipping Arteta’s side to emerge victorious.
“They go into this one with confidence, with belief, and it’s just two teams that just love to attack,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“It will be a back three for Arsenal with David Luiz as the central figure – we will have to rely on him. The thing about Chelsea is that they’ve been playing a back three also, and I don’t think they’re any better defensively than Arsenal.
“The wide areas are going to be key and I’m delighted that Tierney has finally been able to get fit and he is starting to look the real deal for Arsenal. This is where I feel Arsenal could win this, with pace and pinning Chelsea back.
“My main concern isn’t so much the form of Arsenal’s former player Olivier Giroud, but the player who’s impressed me as much as Kevin De Bruyne and Sadio Mane has been Christian Pulisic.
“He’s been breath-taking to watch, and as an Arsenal fan I’m worried about him in this final. But Arsenal have pace and goals in the team. I’d like to see Bukayo Saka start rather than Nicolas Pepe with Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang, but overall, I’m confident and I could see Arsenal just nicking it.”
Arsenal are looking to win the FA Cup for a 14th time, with the Gunners having won the cup competition more times than any other club.
Chelsea FC are still competing in the Champions League but the Blues lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their round of 16 clash at Stamford Bridge to all but end their participation in the competition.
The Blues were 2-1 winners against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium back in December before the Gunners secured a 2-2 draw with Lampard’s side in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge in January.