The 2019 UEFA Europa League Final will be an all-English affair as Chelsea face Arsenal at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Wednesday, May 29.
INTRODUCTION TO THE EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL
This is the 48th season of Europe’s secondary club football tournament and the tenth since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League.
The winners of the final automatically qualify for the 2019/20 Champions League group stage, although Chelsea have already booked their place in that competition via their league position.
If Arsenal fail to beat Chelsea, the berth reserved for the winners of the final will be given to the third-placed team in Ligue 1 – the fifth-ranked association according to next season’s access list.
Chelsea previously reached the Europa League Final back in 2013, securing a 2-1 victory over Benfica courtesy of Branislav Ivanovic’s late goal.
The Gunners last progressed to a major European final in 2006, losing 2-1 against Barcelona in the Champions League.
The two sides split their two matches in the Premier League this season, with each winning their respective home games.
ROUTE TO THE EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL
- Pool Stage – Finished top of Group L, winning five and drawing one of their six games
- Round of 32 – Malmo – 5-1 on aggregate
- Round of 16 – Dynamo Kiev – 8-0 on aggregate
- Quarter-finals – Slavia Prague – 5-3 on aggregate
- Semi-finals – Eintracht Frankfurt – 2-2 on aggregate (Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties)
Chelsea breezed through the opening stage of the competition, finishing seven points ahead of BATE Borisov in Group L.
They enjoyed comfortable victories in the first two knockout rounds, conceding just one goal in four matches against Malmo and Dynamo Kiev.
Slavia Prague made things more difficult in the quarter-finals, but the Blues resisted their second leg fightback to progress to the last four.
Eintracht proved stubborn opposition in the semi-finals, taking the tie to penalties, but Eden Hazard kept his nerve in the shoot-out to fire Chelsea through.
- Pool Stage – Finished top of Group E, winning five and drawing one of their six games
- Round of 32 – BATE Borisov – 3-1 on aggregate
- Round of 16 – Rennes – 4-3 on aggregate
- Quarter-finals – Napoli – 3-0 on aggregate
- Semi-finals – Valencia – 7-3 on aggregate
Arsenal also found things easy in the group stage, dropping just two points to qualify alongside Sporting Lisbon from Group E.
They lost the away leg in their first two games in the knockout stage, but recovered at the Emirates Stadium to defeat BATE Borisov and Rennes.
Unai Emery’s side were impressive in their last eight tie against Napoli, beating the Serie A outfit both home and away.
Valencia were expected to provide a stern test in the semi-finals, but the Gunners recorded victories in both legs to book their place in the final.
KEY EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL STATISTICS
The two sides previously met in Europe in the quarter-finals of the 2003/04 Champions League, with Chelsea winning 3-2 on aggregate.
Chelsea have faced English opposition 17 times in UEFA competitions, winning six and drawing seven of those meetings.
By contrast, Arsenal are yet to beat another English club in Europe, drawing two and losing four of their six previous games.
The teams have met 197 times since their first encounter in 1907. Arsenal have won 77, Chelsea 63 and there have been 57 draws.
The Gunners have lost just one of their last eight meetings with Chelsea in all competitions – a 3-2 defeat in the Premier League back in August 2018.
EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL MATCH RULES
- 90 minutes.
- 30 minutes extra-time if necessary.
- Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
- 12 named substitutes.
- Maximum of three substitutions, with a fourth allowed in extra-time.
EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL TEAM NEWS
Chelsea will be without both Antonio Rudiger and Callum Hudson-Odoi, with the pair currently recovering from their respective surgeries.
N’Golo Kante is expected to shake off a thigh injury, while Olivier Giroud may get the nod up front after bagging 10 goals in the Europa League this season.
Juventus-bound midfielder Aaron Ramsey is out of Arsenal’s line-up with a thigh injury, while Denis Suarez, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck are also on the sidelines.
HOW TO WATCH THE EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL
The match will be broadcast live on BT Sport 2. You can watch the Europa League Final live online as well.