Europa League Final: Arsenal and Chelsea set for epic battle

Two Premier League giants will be in the spotlight on Wednesday as Arsenal and Chelsea battle to claim the Europa League trophy.

The London rivals are set to go head-to-head at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, and both will be eager to end the season on a high note.

The winners of the competition automatically qualify for the 2019/20 Champions League, although Chelsea have already secured a spot via their league position. Read on as we assess the two finalists.

The final act for Sarri?

Third place in the league and reaching two cup finals would be deemed as a solid season for most clubs, but it might not be enough to keep manager Maurizio Sarri in a job.

Even if Chelsea lift the trophy it has been rumoured that he could be on his way out of the club, leaving the Italian plenty of time on his hands to start betting on Royal Ascot this summer.

Former Chelsea star and current Derby County boss, Frank Lampard, has been tipped to take over, but Sarri could count himself unfortunate if he ends up exiting Stamford Bridge.

Sarri hasn’t been popular with many Chelsea fans, while it’s fair to say his methods haven’t gone down well with all of his players. Despite those issues, Chelsea are on the verge of winning a European trophy for the first time in six years.

In addition to improving their final Premier League placing by two positions, Chelsea have been impressive in Europe this season.

They breezed through the group stage, before blasting past Malmo and Dynamo Kiev in the first two knockout rounds. Slavia Prague and Eintracht Frankfurt made things difficult in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, but Chelsea safely navigated through both ties.

If Sarri’s final act as Chelsea manager is to clinch the Europa League trophy, he will certainly be able to leave the club with his head held high.

Emery eyeing more European success

Arsenal boss Unai Emery developed a reputation as a Europa League specialist after leading Sevilla to three successive victories in the competition.

His first season in charge at the Emirates Stadium hasn’t been plain sailing, although it is fair to say he had a big job on his hands when he replaced Arsene Wenger.

Emery has moved Arsenal forward this season, taking them one place up the standings in the league and picking up seven more points.

He still has plenty of work to do if the Gunners are to challenge for league titles, but reaching a European final in his first season is certainly not to be sniffed at.

Arsenal were impressive in the group stage of the competition, dropping just two points as they claimed top spot in their section ahead of Sporting Lisbon.

They were beaten at BATE Borisov and Rennes in their first two knockout matches, but bounced back in the respective home legs to win both ties. After beating both Napoli and Valencia home and away to book their place in the final, it would be foolish to underestimate Arsenal’s chances of handing Emery a fourth Europa League final success

Europa League Final: Arsenal and Chelsea set for epic battle

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