Europa League Final Preview and Tips

There’s just one week left of the football season before teams head off on their summer breaks, but what a week of football we have in store. Fresh from the drama of the playoff finals, which finish today with the £170m winner takes all clash between Aston Villa and Derby County, the final week of the season sees the two biggest games in Europe taking place, the Europa League final on Wednesday night followed by the Champions League final on Saturday.

We will be bringing you a special preview of the Champions League clash between Liverpool and Tottenham later in the week, but first off we are going to give you the lowdown on Wednesday night’s clash in Baku as two other big English Premier League teams and fierce London rivals, Arsenal and Chelsea, meet up with plenty on the line, particularly for the Gunners.

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If you fancy a flutter on Wednesday night’s big match in Baku, then the place to head for your bet is to bet365 Sport. The company is offering a wide range of bets both for the Europa League and Champions League final this week with a massive choice of pre-match bets, as well as extensive In Play betting when the match is in progress. New customers can sign up with the current bet365 New Player Bonus to receive a nice little welcome offer too and you can do that right away to enjoy a bet on both big matches this week.

Let’s now preview the big game on Wednesday night in a bit more detail.

Europa League Final

Arsenal v Chelsea

There’s been plenty of words spoken about the choice of venue for this final. Baku in Azerbaijan is a hellishly long way, and an incredibly difficult destination to get to, for two teams that are based less than ten miles apart in London.

Such a remote venue for the final has seen fewer than normal tickets sold for the game for the two teams and there have been plenty of calls for UEFA to review its process for allocating finals, with many feeling that the venue should be decided nearer to the final and at a place which is more convenient for fans of the teams competing to access.

Even so, it has been an incredible journey for both these teams to reach the final, although both have done so previously. Arsenal lost on penalties in the 2000 final to Galatasaray, but Chelsea were victorious when led by Rafa Benitez, they managed to beat Benfica 2-1 in the 2013 final with Branislav Ivanovic heading home the winning goal in the last minute of injury time.

How they reached the final


Arsenal qualified for the Europa League Group Stage and were drawn into Group E

Group Stage

  • Matchday 1 – Arsenal 4-2 Vorskla (Aubameyang 32,56, Welbeck 48, Ozil 74)
  • Matchday 2 – Qarabag 0-3 Arsenal (Papasthatopoulos 4, Smith Rowe 53, Guendouzi 79)
  • Matchday 3 – Sporting Lisbon 0-1 Arsenal (Welbeck 77)
  • Matchday 4 – Arsenal 0-0 Sporting Lisbon
  • Matchday 5 – Vorskla 0-3 Arsenal (Smith Rowe 10, Ramsey 27(p), Willock 41)
  • Matchday 6 – Arsenal 1-0 Qarabag (Lacazette 16)

Group Stage Standings

  1. Arsenal – 16 pts (+10)
  2. Sporting – 13 pts (+10)
  3. Vorskla – 3 pts (-9)
  4. Qarabag – 3 pts (-11)

Knockout Phase

  • Round of 32 – 1st Leg – BATE Borisov 1-0 Arsenal
  • Round of 32 – 2nd Leg – Arsenal 3-0 BATE Borisov (Volkov og 4, Mustafi 39, Papasthatopoulos 60) – Arsenal win 3-1 on aggregate
  • Round of 16 – 1st Leg – Rennes 3-1 Arsenal (Iwobi 3)
  • Round of 16 – 2nd Leg – Arsenal 3-0 Rennes (Aubameyang 3,72, Maitland-Niles 15) – Arsenal win 4-3 on aggregate
  • Quarterfinal – 1st Leg – Arsenal 2-0 Napoli (Ramsey 14, Koulibaly OG 25)
  • Quarterfinal – 2nd Leg – Napoli 0-1 Arsenal (Lacazette 36) – Arsenal win 3-0 on aggregate
  • Semifinal – 1st Leg – Arsenal 3-1 Valencia (Lacazette 18,25, Aubameyang 90)
  • Semifinal – 2nd Leg – Valencia 2-4 Arsenal (Aubameyang 17,69,88, Lacazette 50) – Arsenal win 7-3 on aggregate


Chelsea qualified for the Europa League Group Stage and were drawn into Group L

Group Stage

  • Matchday 1 – PAOK 0-1 Chelsea (Willian 7)
  • Matchday 2 – Chelsea 1-0 Vidi (Morata 70)
  • Matchday 3 – Chelsea 3-1 BATE Borisov (Loftus-Cheek 2, 8, 53)
  • Matchday 4 – BATE Borisov 0-1 Chelsea (Giroud 52)
  • Matchday 5 – Chelsea 4-0 PAOK Salonika (Giroud 27, 37, Hudson Odoi 60, Morata 78)
  • Matchday 6 – Vidi 2-2 Chelsea (Willian 30, Giroud 75)

Group Stage Standings

  1. Chelsea – 16 pts (+9)
  2. BATE Borisov – 9 pts (0)
  3. Vidi – 7 pts (-2)
  4. PAOK – 3 pts (-7)

Knockout Phase

  • Round of 32 – 1st Leg – Malmo 1-2 Chelsea (Barkley 30, Giroud 58)
  • Round of 32 – 2nd Leg – Chelsea 3-0 Malmo (Giroud 55, Barkley 74, Hudson Odoi 84) – Chelsea win 5-1 on aggregate
  • Round of 16 – 1st Leg – Chelsea 3-0 Dynamo Kyiv (Pedro 17, Willian 65, Hudson Odoi 90)
  • Round of 16 – 2nd Leg – Dynamo Kyiv 0-5 Chelsea (Giroud 5, 33, 59, Alonso 45, Hudson Odoi 78) – Chelsea win 8-0 on aggregate
  • Quarterfinal – 1st Leg – Slavia Prague 0-1 Chelsea (Alonso 86)
  • Quarterfinal – 2nd Leg – Chelsea 4-3 Slavia Prague (Pedro 5, 27, Deli OG 9, Giroud 17) – Chelsea win 5-3 on aggregate
  • Semifinal – 1st Leg – Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Chelsea (Pedro 45)
  • Semifinal – 2nd Leg – Chelsea 1-1 (Loftus Cheek 28) – 2-2 on aggregate – Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties.

The Final

The final will be held in Baku at the Olympic Stadium which seats 68,700 people. Kick off will be at 11pm local time (8pm in the UK). Italian Gianluca Rocchi will referee the final.

Team News


The Gunners will definitely be without Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan due to the fact his country is in a political standoff with Azerbaijan, a factor which frankly makes a mockery of Azerbaijan being the host venue. Several players including Bellerin, Holding and Ramsey will all miss out through injury.

Arsenal Probable XI – 5-3-2 – Leno, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Papasthatopoulos, Mustafi, Koscielny, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang.


Chelsea have a real injury worry about French midfield dynamo Ngolo Kante and it is unlikely he will be fit for the final. Eden Hazard will likely play his last game for Chelsea before an expected summer move to Real Madrid. Manager Mauricio Sarri could also be in charge for his final game as he has been linked with a move back to Italy to Juventus.  Loftus Cheek and Hudson Odoi are also both out injured.

Chelsea Probable XI – 4-3-3 – Kepa, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Luiz, Rudiger, Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Hazard, Pedro, Higuain

Match Tips

The teams have met twice this season, both winning one game each, Chelsea winning 3-2 at home in August and then Arsenal were victorious 2-0 when the teams met in January. They have also met in the Champions League quarterfinals back in 2004, when after a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea snatched a 2-1 win at the Emirates to claim the win.

Whatever way you look at this it should be a close game but I just feel Chelsea are slightly the better and more complete team of the two. Arsenal have a more dynamic attacking duo, but Hazard just gives Chelsea that sprinkling of stardust which is often the key element in deciding tight games like this. As such, I’d back Chelsea to win in the full time result market at 29/20 with bet365.

In terms of a correct score bet, I don’t think either of these teams is particularly strong defensively and while I can’t see a repeat of the 3-2 win for Chelsea at the start of the season, I can see both teams scoring and as such, I think a Chelsea 2-1 win (8/1 at bet365) is the best option for this bet.

If you fancy a flutter on the anytime goalscorer market then I think Eden Hazard, given he is Chelsea’s star man and has been Arsenal’s main tormentor for several years in this fixture, is a great value bet at 11/8, especially as he will likely be the man on free kick and penalty duties for Chelsea too.

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