Arsenal v Chelsea Tips: Mason to mount an attack on Gunners goal
The first FA Cup final to be played in August takes place this Saturday, as the competition's most successful ever team - Arsenal (12 triumphs) - face eight-time winners, Chelsea.
Chelsea finished an excellent fourth in the league in Frank Lampard’s second full season in management. A fantastic achievement when you consider the transfer ban they were under and losing their star man, Eden Hazard, to Real Madrid last summer.
Arsenal ended the campaign in eighth, which is their worst finish for 25 seasons. Despite some improvement under Mikel Arteta, they now can only qualify for the Europa League by lifting the FA Cup this weekend which could be worth as much as £30million for the Gunners.
On the team news front, Arsenal will be without Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Martinelli. N’Golo Kante will face a late fitness test after his thigh injury and may play some role from the bench. Billy Gilmour is the only other absentee for Lampard who could well name the same side as he picked in the final Premier League fixture against Wolves.
The game is live on BBC1, kicking off at 17:30, and having a look into the betting and Chelsea have been made the 11/10 favourites to win inside 90 minutes. The draw can be backed at 5/2, with a victory for Arsenal being offered at 23/10 with bet365.
Mason Mount 1+ shot on target - 2pts @ evens - PaddyPower
Alexandre Lacazette to be carded - 1pts @ 4/1 - Betfair
Aubameyang & Giroud 1+ shot on target, Kovacic & Tierney to be carded - 0.5pts @ 33/1 - PaddyPower
Mason Mount found the back of the net in the last game of the season in the Premier League to help Chelsea confirm their place in the Champions League next year with a lovely free kick. He’s had a good season for Chelsea and has often found himself as part of a front three which he should do again for this game.
His numbers are impressive, with only Abraham, Giroud and Pulisic averaging more shots per game this season than Mason with 2.1 per game. When it comes to hitting the target, he’s also proved accurate this season with an average of 0.8 shots between the posts per game. He could well be on free-kicks after scoring one last time out and with this same selection being priced at 4/6 I’m taking advantage of the even money available here from Paddy Power.
My second selection comes in the form of a card being shown to Alexandre Lacazette at 4/1 with Betfair. It’s worth noting that the prices in the cards market are rather short for this game and one possible reason for that may be due to Wythenshawe’s Anthony Taylor. Only Mike Dean (129) has given out more yellow cards this season than Taylor (102) and he was in fact the referee between these two sides in the final in 2017 where he gave out eight bookings!
At first glance you may be wondering why I’ve chosen an attacker here to be carded. With usual suspects such as Jorginho and Xhaka as short as 11/10 to be carded here there’s not much value knocking about. However, Alexandre Lacazette makes some appeal here off the back of his eight yellows in just 22 starts this season. He gets wound up easily by defenders and I often see him becoming frustrated after heavy tackles from the opposition. He’s currently top priced at 4/1 which seems a reasonable price to me compared to the 9/4 on show from bet365.
Finally I’ve picked out a 33/1 longshot made up of Oliver Giroud and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang to have one or more shots on target, with both Mateo Kovacic and Kieran Tierney to be carded.
Giroud has been in excellent form since the resumption of the season due to the coronavirus. He’s been keeping Tammy Abraham out the side and has scored six goals in his last six starts. He’s averaging over 1 shot on target per game this season and with being in such a rich vein of form I’m adding him in here.
Arsenal making the Europa League and collecting that important revenue from television rights could be the difference between Aubameyang staying and leaving this summer in financial terms. On the pitch he’s netted 22 league goals this season and no player at the club has averaged more shots on target than the Gabonese striker at Arsenal this season (1.2 per game).
Onto the cards and first up I’m going for Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic to find his way into Anthony Taylor’s notebook. He’s been cautioned an impressive eight times this season in just 23 starts for the Blues. Only Jorginho has more cards than Kovacic for Chelsea this season and considering the prices I’m adding the latter into this Same Game Multi.
Rounding this one off is Kieran Tierney to be carded for Mikel Arteta’s side. He missed the majority of the season through injury, but has looked impressive since returning post lockdown. He’s only had two yellows in 12 appearances this season, but with Willian’s pace coming off the bench in the second half and Tierney’s desire to get forward, I’m opting for a card here for the Scottish International.
As the season draws to a close, please remember to not chase losses and always gamble responsibly, but most of all enjoy the game.