Mark Lawrenson predicts Arsenal v Chelsea FC in FA Cup final

Mark Lawrenson looks ahead to Arsenal's showdown with Chelsea FC in the FA Cup final on Saturday

Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)

Mark Lawrenson is tipping Arsenal to claim a narrow 1-0 win over Chelsea FC in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday afternoon.

The Gunners head into the game looking to try and end the season on a positive note under new boss Mikel Arteta, after they finished in eighth place in the Premier League table last weekend.

Arsenal have struggled to find consistent form in the Premier League all season and the north London side opted to bring in Arteta as Unai Emery’s permanent replacement back in December.

Chelsea FC, meanwhile, are fresh from having sealed a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League to book their spot in the Champions League in an impressive debut campaign for manager Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal won the FA Cup back in 2017 when they beat Antonio Conte’s Chelsea FC side 2-1 in the final at Wembley.

And former Liverpool FC star Lawrenson is backing the Gunners to claim the victory once again when they take on their London rivals this weekend.

Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: “Unlike, say, last year’s final between Manchester City and Watford, this game is very hard to call.

“For starters, it is going to be a very different sort of occasion. We know now that football behind closed doors is strange, but this is going to be the strangest game yet.

“It’s an FA Cup final, and a derby game too, but it doesn’t really feel like that. Fans are an intrinsic part of football regardless, but that is even more the case for the moments when you win things. Without them at Wembley, it just won’t be the same.

“I am still expecting a good game, though, and it is Arsenal who I think will edge it.

“I’ve been quite critical of them, and how fragile they have been defensively, but apparently Arteta does a lot of work on their shape in training, and it is definitely having an effect.

“Arteta has not just brought a kind of feel-good factor back to the club since taking charge in December, he has shored them up.

“To win on Saturday, they will need to show more of the resilience they had when they beat City and Liverpool in the space of a week, but they are always going to score goals with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in their team.

“That’s not to say Chelsea are not dangerous too. I just feel like Arsenal have got more momentum and confidence at the moment, but otherwise it is difficult to split the two sides.”

Chelsea FC were 2-0 winners over Wolves in their final Premier League game of the season at Stamford Bridge last weekend, while Arsenal beat Watford 3-2 at The Emirates.

Arsenal have won the FA Cup more than any other team in history, having lifted the trophy a record 13 times.

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