At time of writing, Antonio Conte was less than two weeks away from leading Chelsea out at Wembley to do battle with Arsenal for the most historic prize in top flight football.
May 27th will see the two London clubs clash for the FA Cup in a rematch of sorts from their classic outing in the 2002 cup final.
As the big day drawers ever nearer, that memorable match, not to mention several others, are well worth looking at again, not only to give us some kind of insight into how both clubs have fared against each other in recent years, but also as a means of giving some benefit to the thousands of people expected to place a wager on the final in the next couple of weeks.
After all, as the most important prize in British sport, the FA Cup Final attracts a number of punters on a par with typical sports betting occasions such as the Grand National or Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
Perhaps more than ever this year, fans of both clubs are expected to take advantage of special cup final offers and free bet sign up bonuses from the likes of Bet365, who are currently offering new customers a 100% deposit bonus worth up to £200 in free bets.
You can find out more about how to use that special offer on the Bet365 page by Freebets.uk, but first let’s take a look at which side may be the one to back when Arsenal vs. Chelsea takes place live from Wembley.
A Disappointing Cup Final Loss for Chelsea
If past FA Cup Final experience is anything to go by, Chelsea’s form against The Gunners hardly does them any favours.
As we’ve already mentioned, the two sides met back in 2002 for a London derby which saw Arsene Wenger’s men put two past Chelsea.
The Blues held their own certainly, but a stunning 69th minute strike from Ray Parlour following less than ten minutes later by a confident goal from Sweden’s Freddie Ljungberg was enough to ensure that the cup went back to the Emirates Stadium that year.
Yet as the old saying goes, that was then, this is now.
Trading Wins in the 2016 – 2017 Premier League Season
Both teams traded compelling wins this season, Arsenal winning the first encounter 3 – 0 at the Emirates back in September, before Chelsea equalised with a 3 – 1 victory at Stamford Bridge earlier this September.
Whilst that might not tell us much initially, it starts to reveal Chelsea’s chances when you look back at the last five games the two sides have played up to, and including, the FA Community Shield outing in 2015.
At that time, Arsenal narrowly scraped a victory thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who scored the game’s only goal in the middle of the first half.
Unfortunately for The Gunners, they were unable to replicate that success for the rest of the season, losing 2 – 0 at Stamford Bridge in September before hosting Chelsea in a 0 – 1 losing effort the following February.
Indeed, the only time Arsenal have managed to get the better of the blues since 2015 was that aforementioned 3 – 0 victory in September.
Add to that Arsenal’s disappointing form this season compared to Chelsea’s runaway success, and you’d have to believe that the reigning Premier League are odds on favourites for FA Cup success.